PM Rowley’s recent announcement that T&T may attempt to tap into the tourism market in China by allowing Chinese nationals with a Canadian or US visa to also be eligible to travel to Trinidad and Tobago is being described as impulsive, thoughtless and mad by Naparima MP Rodney Charles.
“Although a visa waiver may be an incentive for foreign investment and tourists, this PNM Government has done nothing to safeguard the Chinese nationals that are already here. Dr Rowley has to be mad to do this given the abuse of Chinese citizens in TT, and the Ministry of National Security’s inability and failure to protect them or any citizen, both foreign and local, within our country for that matter,” says Charles.
Over the past three years numerous Chinese businessmen living in TT, have been the victims of robbery or murder. Investigators believe these “Chinese nationals continue to be easy prey because of the language barrier and the fact that they carry large amounts of cash.”
In May 2018, 42-year-old Qumehlanj Cao was shot several times at his Arima home by intruders as he slept.
In September 2017, Businessman Lee, 19, from Claxton Bay was robbed and then shot dead.
In June 2017 mini-mart proprietor Yana Zeng was fatally shot when she struggled with a bandit because she was tired of being robbed. Also in June 2017, Businessman Shirui Zhao and his employee Yanli Gu were gunned down in Marabella and Francis Lee Lon and his wife Sylvie were tied up and robbed at their Barataria home.
In November 2016 restaurant owner Wei Hui Zhu, 31, of Soledad Road, Claxton Bay was robbed at his home of $400,000 by three armed men dressed in police tactical gear.
In June 2016, Rich Knights Huang, 22, was at his La Romaine home when he was attacked by masked men armed with a gun and a cutlass and was then robbed.
In February 2016, Xing Xia, 30, was shot in her right eye during an attempted robbery at the family owned CNA supermarket in New Grant.
In January 2016, businessman Chong Cao, 30, was gunned down outside his restaurant in La Horquetta.
How many of these crimes have been solved?
Chinese nationals run businesses such as groceries, restaurants and casinos continue to be the daily targets of robbers. Before you get to this stage of visa waivers, you should ensure that the investors and investments you want to encourage are safeguarded.
Following an eight-day visit by a Chinese delegation to Haiti, the Haitian press agency announced a commitment by the People’s Republic of China to invest US$30 billion in developing Haiti’s infrastructure which is expected to have major social, economic and developmental impacts.
Furthermore, both the Jamaican and Chinese governments would be collaborating through a Framework Agreement. This agreement would allow Jamaica to benefit from increased investment in infrastructural development and other critical areas.
T&T awaits to see the monetary value of the agreements signed by Dr. Rowley in China.
Once again Rowley’s is displaying his penchant for grand gestures without any thought about the bigger picture, to appear as if he is doing something.
Member of Parliament for Naparima