PNG protests highlight violence against women
Keith’s intimate travel diary 14 – Island of peace

Chinese businesses pose problems for PNG


CHINESE BUSINESSES ARE FLOURISHING in all parts of Papua New Guinea and are gradually encroaching upon Bougainville.

The Chinese population and their businesses are increasing. Many Chinese are illegal immigrants and, every year, they come and go as though Papua New Guinea is their home.

The government gives them a visa for a six-pack of beer and citizenship for living here only three years. In my view, these Chinese businesses should be removed from the country for they sell low quality goods, pay low wages to locals, operate filthy shops and send money out of the country.

Let me expand upon each of these points in turn.

First, these Chinese shops sell low quality goods. Their prices are very tempting to the general public and it satisfies the demand of the people. However at the end, those goods last for a day or so and are a waste.

If you want to return them to the shop, the Chinese man will show you a big notice hanging on the side draped in cobwebs saying ‘Choose Carefully! No Refund’. They stick up notices like that for they know their goods do not last long since they were exported as waste from China.

Last week a friend of mine bought a nice looking phone for about K100 at a Chinese shop. It lasted for three days when the speaker stopped working properly. So he went to the shop to get a refund and told the shop assistant, a local girl, what was wrong with the phone.

Whilst they were talking, this Chinese man saw them and asked what was happening. The girl told him. The Chinese man showed him the notice and sent him away threatening them to call the police.

Just one example of what has been happening to the general public.

Secondly, Chinese businesses in PNG and Bougainville pay low wages to their employees. In non-Chinese shops, shop assistants dress well whereas the Chinese employees dress as if they are going to work in the garden. They are only teenagers, mostly girls.

“We are not paid the normal rate others are paid,” a shop assistant said. “We work because we have no place to get money.”

She continued that if they complain about wages, the boss will tell them, ‘I don’t need you. I can get Chinese men to work.’

This is a serious issue that part of the country’s workforce is facing. It is causing more Chinese to illegally migrate into PNG to work for such businesses.

Our government should do something about these young people for many of these Chinese store owners do not care about their employees. They should be removed from the region.

Thirdly, the shops are filthy and dusty. Throughout all the towns of Papua New Guinea where Chinese shops are, you will recognize them before you enter because even the walls outside are filthy and decaying.

Inside the shop, the goods are decorated with dust and cobwebs. It is like coming into a house which has been deserted for many years. Even new stock looks as if it is from last year. You always need to check the expiry date of food before buying.

But the public just buys stuff as it’s not expensive.

My last big argument with Chinese businesses is the sending of the money back to China. Our country needs money to circulate so it boosts the economy.

These Chinese businessmen stand at the counter and wait for the money. When a money bag is full, the boss will take it away into his small room and then come back to the counter to wait for another.

But where does it go? A friend who worked at the Bank of the South Pacific in Madang told me, “You will hardly see any Chinese person depositing money in the bank”.

Chinese businesses have been flourishing throughout Papua New Guinea serving the majority of the citizens of the country and are gradually moving towards Bougainville. They should be removed from Bougainville and even PNG.


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Daniel Kumbon

Yesterday I went with a friend to a PNG operated coffee shop at the busy Vision City in Port Moresby. We presented a K50 note and asked for two drinks and two pies. The lady said there was no change. It was about 1.30pm and there was no change. Unbelievable!

I have had similar experiences from PNG owned shops numerous times around the country - they had no change.

But the Chinese shops always have change ready even if you present a K100 note for a box of matches. They work 6-6 and are always busy even on the weekends when everybody else is in church or sit chewing buai and play bingo under a raintree.

The Chinese people could be selling cheap stuff but they know where the market is and know how to make money. They are hardworking and always look young and fit. They eat well and sleep well after a hard day’s work. For the Chinese, every second counts.

They work really hard to even produce the rice which has become a staple diet in PNG. I wish PNGeans could go to China and see how hardworking they are in their paddy fields, shops, factories, government offices - everywhere.

The Chinese are people just like you and me. They have rich traditions and cultures. Don’t blame them but blame our government for the cheap products, denuding our forests, taking jobs and business away from us the nationals etc.

Why can't PNGeans learn from the Chinese and compete with them?

Keira Keys

As a Chinese, I am shocked to see how the Chinese business man were doing business in PNG. I saw the article is published 3 years ago, I hope the condition has changed and get better.

For a business to success in one area, the key is to benefit the local society. It is a shame to learn that some Chinese businessman are not treating the locals nicely. I hope those business will go bust and those who respect the culture and people can eventually be successful.

As I have a friend from PNG who complaint the overpriced service there. I do hope people in PNG can have access to better education/ cheaper power/ better quality products without paying unfair price.

Most Chinese are nothing like those businessmen.Best wishes to you all.

Franky Chan

The author seems too adopt a rather generalised view. Papua New Guinea goods and services now are at a more than extraordinary level for a poor country.

Papua New Guinea is rich with minerals, gas, Fisheries and forest products. So why is PNG still poor and why are goods expensive?

1. You need more Chinese business to bring in more cheap products in order to reduce the current improper price tags in the market now. For better quality, the government needs to impose quality control.

2. Talking about generosity, infrastructure is highly needed in PNG. You need to learn from Laos and Cambodia. See how China helps them.

PNG needs clean water, cheap power, a huge development fund, cheap education, jobs. There are opportunities here for the Bank of China, ICBC and China Power.

August Berita

I think we should not only blame the government about the Chinese incursion.

The government allows them to enter the country. But they don't just go to any town or city and force people to give them a place to settle down for business.

We the people give them land, we allow them to rent our buildings, we allow our sons and daughters to work for them for low wages; and there are many ways that our people are encouraging them to do business in our towns and cities. We are partly responsible for assisting them.

Two years ago, I entered a Chinese shop in one of the highlands towns and heard the owner of the shop swear at one of the women working in the shop.

I felt uncomfortable and indignantly told the male workers to confront the Chinese and tell him that he does not have to treat his PNG employees like second grade citizens.

The response I got from the workers was shocking. Not one of them was eager to do something. Instead, they got mad at me for trying to talk against their employer.

I walked out of the shop ashamed for trying to defend a simple shop assistant.

Let's not blame everything on the government. Maybe it could be because of some of our own arrogant attitudes. It's sad to see that we are being treated as slaves in our own land because of our own attitudes.

Nathan Gabara

You have to realistic about what you are saying, don't just get second hand information and stand on it as if its true. Where is the source that say that six-pack of beer for a visa.

And if any are illegal immigrants then have you check their visa. After all their goods are fake but can a local subsistence farmer afford to buy goods from Australia or USA?

Steven Gimbo

Rule of supply and demand? Believe me sooner or later the rule of the resentment of the majority will come into play and you will have what happened in the Solomons.

That is a time-bomb waiting to explode. And when it happens, it will send a far bigger shockwave across the world.

Tony Flynn

I hope that you do not mind my commenting on Bernard's pro-China position.

The view from the dusty market place is a little different to the clear views obtained from the ivory towers of academia.

The new Chinese at my level are intent on filling every small-time niche in the PNG economy. Most of the entry level businesses are filled with Asians.

As a new citizen of PNG in 1976, I operated a kau kau farm and a fast food outlet in Goroka. I learned business in this way and now I am a substantial employer in good standing with Nasfund etc.

The point is that I do not care what they are doing at Ramu and other large projects which would bring me into conflict with our senior leaders.

I do care what they are doing in the entry level businesses, where, at independence, I believed I would see a lot of PNG citizens following the track that I followed.

What I saw was a lot of Asians breaking the then law as stated in the Reserved List. I also saw that influential (people with good jobs) showed not the slightest interest in giving their not so lucky brethren a helping hand by protesting these incursions.

They then had the hide to put down young people such as Ishmael who were too young to have any effect at that time; now relegated to be a wage earner with little chance at an entry level business.

At the time I asked some old Chinese and other influential citizens about taking an interest in lobbying against these lawbreakers with no luck.

They did not feel threatened then; now they admit that they are.

Bernard Singu Yegiora

Thank you Maureen, I will play around with the settings of the blog.

Like you said, the work load is killing thus time has not permitted me to write my entries.

However, I am teaching a course called PG214 Asian Influence in the Pacific and have some very interesting essays about this particular issue.

We have also debated on this issue in class (Proposition - Are the 'New' Chinese important to PNG's economic growth).

Also we have read the Australia Asian Century White Paper as a case study of Asian influence in the Pacific. If you have time I suggest you Google up and download the White Paper to read Australia's strategy in dealing with the rise of Asia.

With the permission of my students I will publish some of their work for public consumption in the coming weeks.

I respect all your views and I am happy that Keith published this article.

Bernard Singu Yegiora

Michael - Bias in the sense that he has not mentioned the positive side of Chinese businesses.

My point is, at least Ishmael should do justice to the issue by outlining the positives as well.

In order to do that a little research on the issue would help one to have a good understanding and see where his or her honest opinion fits in with the collective opinion of others.

If he had taken that approach then those who are new to this issue (have never read any literature about Chinese migration and businesses in PNG) will think critically and judge from themselves.

As it stands, his article will influence less informed readers or bloggers to develop anti-Chinese sentiments and biased opinions.

Such emotions will cloud our judgement and is a barrier in finding a way forward for the people of PNG.

Michael Dom

Why don't we risk straying from the intellectually stimulating discussions and make some firm assertions.

Being an assistant-pig-keeper, it's my duty to remove the manure from the pens so that my farmers pigs are not exposed to microbial disease and foul odors.

It's an onerous task. It's an honorable task.

Likewise Ministers.

Steve Muhammad Gallagher

I think Bernard is right to express his opinion about Ishmael's essay.

To have clear understanding of world matters we need to see things from both sides.

Being intellectuals, we need to be fair on issues instead of taking sides coz we might lead the people in a wrong direction.

Being intellectuals we need to do research on issues. The world today is globalized as a result of digital revolution, internet, IT and technology.

The relations between people from different nationalities has increased so we have to think global and act locally.

Maureen Wari

Thank you Ishmael for your candid complaint. Someone has to show the Chinese dirt as is seen and felt.

While they are seen as the perfect entrepreneur by many, the attitude displayed at PNG grassroot level is unbecoming of a genuine trader.

If one doesn't respect a local, why should one expect a local to respect him? This article is a perfect review from a customer! We all have our reviews.

Thank you Mr Yegiora for your wonderful blog being the "bridge of understanding" between PNG and China. Your time there, your knowledge gained will be needed for insights into these worldwide traders.

Yu busy man because yu tisa tasol find time to complete (red background bit tough on the eyes, lighter background?) and update your site so mipla ken skulim mipla yet.

Thank you Mrs Short for cooling the water. The topic did touch a nerve. I think how is it fair when I comply to every letter of the law of a place I do not belong to and yet a 'new Chinese' sets feet on PNG soil and break almost every rule and still prosper.

Is it seen as my fault as a PNGn? I being educated will reason.

My grassroot brother or sister in front of this new trader may not reason. Naturally, the next course of action, because of no help from where help should come from, will be to chase the trader out. The riots in Solomon Islands are an example.

I know Mr Fowke is of the same thinking that I am. It is indeed a mammoth task out there if one has to correct this unfairness.

I think 'work smarter, not harder' is the way to go, accommodating some of Mr Yegiora's input as well as Mrs Short's. Yet, if it means no short-cut, work harder, then hard work it will be.

There are numerous PhDs, Masters and bright, smart non-PhDs, non-Masters all over the country that something can be done in all our respective fields to the effect of providing solutions to this complaint.

The path before us now calls for sheer hard work, we will begin to see really where our hearts are.

Mrs Barbara Short

God bless you Michael.

Yes, PNG needs a body to be a watchdog over the commercial sector and to prosecute those who sell shoddy goods. Australia has some good models.

I found my neighbour works for the Ombudsmen for the Power and Water industries. If you have anything go wrong with your power and water bills etc., you can report it to them.

Obviously PNG needs an Ombudsman for Chinese stores.

I hope you can buy yourself a new watch while in Australia.

Michael Dom

Bernard, please explain your claim that Ishmael's writing is biased.


(a) What do you mean by 'bias' in his obviously opinion-based yet nonetheless forthright and well crafted writing?

(b) Why do you say his opinion is biased, when it is an honest opinion? And;

(c) Why do you, apparently, believe that his opinion is incorrect?

In my mind national pride, patriotism and obeying our laws have nothing to do with being unbiased. But perhaps I'm mistaken.

The best place for unbiased assessment is in the court room. Unfortunately our people don't seem to stand a chance on any of the cases tried in PNG courts so far.

We're turning into a 7-million-bunch of real losers thanks to our government!

Rather than arguing for that glorious academic goal of 'balance of perspectives' and 'un-biasness', perhaps we should be more concerned that even the educated commentators here, let alone our village folk, feel that they "don't have a choice".

Also, is this suggestive that successive governments since Somare et al (1975) have not provided enough opportunities for our people to realize that we do have a choice viz-a-vis so that a man who is sold a shoddy phone can get it looked at before a decision is made as to what the trouble was with it, even if it is in another 'stoa bilong ol Saina Kongkong'.

Incidentally, I've been in a similar situation when I bought a watch that went kaput a few days after I bought it. Twice. What a sucker!

In those days I couldn't afford to buy too many watches. I've never really wanted to own watches after that - scarred for life! LOL!

Sixteen years later; last year I bought a Seiko for myself. A fantastic timepiece. Next day I gave it to a good mate who lives in Madang. Today I still don't have a watch.

Why did I give away such an expensive watch? Because fuck 'no choice' that's why!

And I'm still one of the most time-conscious people in my workplace.

We always have a choice. God wills it.

Sedrick Moka

Brother - This issue is what we see every day in almost all of the Asian-run shops in the country. And this issue is just one of the many issues that the country is currently facing.

We could blame the government for not seeing this issue but it looks like the government might be the one who is allowing them to do business in our country.

If the government is allowing them to stay in the country, then who else has the power to remove them out of the country?

Zenitram Dee

Thats very true, new Chinese businesses are booming in PNG towns.

We can't blame them, we should ask ourself how did they come? I believe many came in illegally. The answer is weinvited them into the county because we just wanted some coins for a day's use.

Since they are here and doing more business, it's a wake up call for Papua New Guineans to get up from your long sleep and start coming up with initiatives to do business in a wise manner to compete against them.

If we are keep on complaining, we will still complain and they will take control of all the little business that a typical PNGeans can control.

It is also safe if those authorities who accepts a K1 from chinese and let them come in the country illegally stop that attitude in consideration of how the chinese actions will affect PNG economy and the local people.

Bernard Singu Yegiora

The statement "The Chinese are here to stay" is factual and is a reality.

The word Chinese in this statement is ambiguous and covers both the 'Old' and the 'New' Chinese.

The 'Old' helped the Germans and Australian to develop PNG to where it is today. While the 'New' from the Mainland have ventured into PNG, a very poor country, with the intention of supplying goods which are cheap and affordable.

It is common sense if you want a good phone go to city pharmacy or Digicel outlets instead of buying from an Asian shop. You have a choice because we have a free market economy.

If you want a quality torch or knife go to Brian Bell.

But in Brian Bell you will see that most of the quality goods are manufactured in China because the Chinese produce different grades of goods.

In PNG, we do not have a lot of super rich people therefore they sell goods that we can afford. Most of the A grade goods are sent to markets in the oil rich Middle East, Europe, Australia and the States.

Can you afford a K500 Gucci pants? Can you buy a K700 Diana Ferrari Sandal for your girl friend?

They have done their market research and know what type of goods to sell in a poor developing country like PNG.

We need to learn to live with them because PNG is the greenest pasture.

China is also a key development partner thus the idea of attacking its citizens will affect PNG's relations with China.

That is why when returning in 2009 from an overseas trip the Grand Chief Michael Somare as Prime Minister was quick to blame our own government agencies for the Anti-Asian riots and not Chinese citizens doing businesses in PNG.

I disagree with Ishmael's article because it is bias. As a writer you need to present two contrasting views and let your readers judge or share your position in your conclusion. Especially, issues related to what you have written about to avoid stirring up people's emotions.

I speak as a person who's research interest is in China-PNG bilateral relations and Chinese diaspora in PNG. My interest lies in finding a win-win way forward.

But happy to see a DWU student expressing his views and making use of your unlimited access to the internet.

Continue to write Ishmael, in time you will improve.

For more information or discussion view my profile on the DWU website and do not hesitate to contact me, or visit my blog ( I need to update my blog but I have a lot of articles there which will help expand your views about the issue at hand.

Zenaleze Abage

As mentioned by Mr Palipal on the issue of Chinese Entrepreneurs in PNG that is fact, yes we do see it everyday and have been sick of having to watch PNG continue in such manner. The Government is responsible for this issues because they let in investors to the shores of Papua New Guinea.

Now the question is whether the public servants in the Immigration & Trade, Investment Promotion Authority, PNG Custom and Internal Revenue Commission are performing to their job description. It is very sad to see more of the so called "kongkongs" into PNG. My reason being, they come into this independent state exploit the resources, violate labour laws and corrupt the system of government.

Why should the government let this continue? To get their attention should there be, another Anti-Asian Riot in PNG? or Should we just sit back and go with the current?

As individuals think about it. Thank you Ishmael for being the voice for all.

Mrs Barbara Short

Now the Chinese, how can they help in the development of PNG?

Some of them can obviously cook delicious food. Why not eat some, ladies, when you feel like having a break from your cooking?

They produce some lovely cheap stuff, a lot of it very poorly made, but if you look around you may find something of value.

Their chinaware is good and very cheap, also their cutlery. Doesn't matter if it is covered with dust, it will clean up easily.

Guess some of their footware is very practical for PNG conditions. They also produce some very good cheap laplap. Maybe some cowboy laplap with PNG designs on it lifted long ago from PNG.

If they are there to stay, as many think, then get to know them. Don't stereotype them. There will be good and bad Chinese just as there are good and bad in every race.

PNG is partly a multiracial society. Enjoy getting to know people from other races who decide to come and live with you. But make certain that they "play fair" and don't take over the jobs that you should be doing!

I know of a wealthy Chinese PNGian woman in Rabaul who has done an awful lot of good for PNG. She is not illegally in PNG. She is working for the good of PNG.

If some of the more newly arrived Chinese people are upsetting you then check out how they can be brought into line. I'm sure they have a lot to teach you about running a small business.

Yuri Yal

The Chinese are here to stay and that is true. As far as we can see today a lot of the businesses are operate by the chinese, even to the small businesses like the kai bars.

As for me, despite the bad things the Chinese do, I will say that there are two sides of a coin, one is paradise and the other one is other animals we know.

So the paradise is that, by looking at the country as a whole, we can see that a lot of our people are really suffering in the remote areas in terms of basic services,

However as a developing country we can see that our people are realy satisfied and enjoying the chinese goods,in one way or the other because they can really afford to buy it.

At least the chinese are changing the living starnding of the local people, like for example when you go to a local village you will see that there are musice play and there you will see light also, these are some of the chinese inputs into our lives so that the remote areas can also enjoy the changing world.

Over all the chinese are the life saver of the local people, and people are realy enjoying there goods, whereas the government of the country can not provide it.

Maureen Wari

There are so far four comments with the resigned "the Chinese are here to stay"

Is this a remark that says I can't compete or I give up?

Yes the revisit to the laws are hard work, convincing the pollies is hard work, educating people in authority is hard work, chasing immigration is hard work ...

But are we stopping here just because it is hard work? I for one am not settling for imitation goods, rejected goods, toxic plastic items, lousy broken English/Pidgin and worse trash attitude from an outsider.

If my leaders fail me, I will not stoop low to fail myself. I am a proud PNG. As long as I am alive in this life I will do all I can to challenge and give the Chinese a run for their money.

Maybe my officials will turn a blind eye or ear because there will be nothing in this cause for their pocket, will that make me also resign and say 'the Chinese are here to stay?' No way.

If no one else helps me, my God will. He always does. It's a tough battle. I am looking the devil in the eye all the way. Kantri blo yumi, graun blo yumi, wok blo yumi, had wok tu blo yumi.

Noken givim igo olgeta just because the mountain is too high. It's not you and it's not me.

Let's say we will provide equal competition until they pack up and go look for greener pastures. Now lets go mobilize our little toeas as a group, clan or fellowship and start our trade stores. Hard work?

Steve Muhammad Gallagher

Chinese are here to stay. We need to do more research to understand China and the Chinese, Chinese diplomacy, Confucion ideology and history before we can make a better analysis about China and especially the Chinese in PNG

Chinese are everywhere in the world. Chinese are in African, Middle East, South America and South Pacific and they are here to stay.

I think problems like illegal immigrants, low salary, housing conditions, counterfeits goods and many other problems will only be solved if the government institutions responsible for these problems were effective. Our government institutions are ineffective and corrupt.

PNG need China for its economic growth likewise China need PNG for vote on One China policy and national resources. China give aid, we have trade surplus with China and strategically China is important for PNG's national security.

We should look at things for different angles. See Bernard Yegiora's article, "Chinese are good at the art of localization".

David Wall

Ishmael, this piece you might find interesting:

John Fowke

These responses clearly show us why a new class of foreign street-side trader has entered and settled in large numbers.

Laws made to preserve all types of retail trade, fast-food or tuckerbox-type enterprise, services of repair and installation of electrical appliances and wiring, tyre-repair, buses and taxis; all are classed as reserved activities.

These were and are, I emphasise, still are, closed to non-citizens.

As are the jobs for counter-staff, warehouse staff, cooks, mechanics, electricians and other technicians, semi- and unskilled workers within these activities.

But as we all know, non-citizens from SE Asia and China have appeared like a crop of well-fertilised mushrooms, dominating these spaces over the past thirty years. And more are coming.

It is all very well for Bernard to speak of the advantages to be gained from being open and co-operative to China.

A welcome to large investment in economically-sound major enterprise; to partnership agreements in regard to civic structures, training, and mutually-beneficial extractive industry operations are fine.

But there is no justification at all for either official or covert circumvention of the laws which stand to provide PNG and its citizens with opportunities to learn, to work and to profit as entrepreneurs in the internal trade, the domestic economy of the nation.

It's up to you all to do something, as opposed to accepting the state of affairs. Complaining in letters and on blogs now and then.

Aside form the issues of blatant illegality and deprivation of rightful opportunities, there is the question of national pride. Where is it? Why do you all do nothing but talk endlessly about all these worms of corruption and surreptitious theft of what belongs to you?

Where are the Stret Pasin Stoas now? Where are the Co-op stores and the Co-op Society- owned coastal ships? Where are the cattle-projects of yesteryear? The 20-hectare coffee projects? There were many of these once. Today there are virtually none.

This says something about the standard of State governance, about a lack of honest standards. But it also says much about the strength of Papua New Guinean entrepreneurship, of inner pride and gratitude for the natural wealth which is yours to exploit with your own hands for your own benefit.

What we do see is comments from prominent and not-so-prominent citizens bemoaning the fact that not enough was done under the Australian administration and that present-day aid-projects don’t work.

Well, in some aspects there is truth in this. But many, many citizens at the age where they are grandparents say to me, “ Our kids and grandchildren don’t get the sort of education we did, back in the ‘fifties. Or” The only worthwhile jobs for our kids are in the mining and exploration sites and camps.”

All are lamenting the present, harking back to the past. Whilst doing this they put out of mind or forget that it is enterprise and the determination of individuals which creates a good, healthy, happy, fulfilling life.

Change will come, at some time, and at a price. You must strive to see that it is positive.

It's in your hands to take the very significant advantages every educated Papua New Guinean has, and to push hard to achieve satisfaction and good standards in life at least for yourself and your extended family.

By stretching yourselves, by doing more work and less complaining, the nation has every chance of being a happy, healthy, self-confident and materially comfortable one.

Terence Ako

It is true that Chinese businesses pose problems for PNG. But as the saying goes, there are two sides to every story.

We need not look only at one side of the story but look at both sides to make better conclusions of the events that are unfolding.

First of all whether we like it or not the Chinese are here to stay. I say this because of a number of reasons. And also with the growth of Asia today, we have to look at avenues through which we can use to benefit than become resentful to their presence.

We may talk about removing the Chinese and taking over the business activities that they conduct. But the question is, are we really ready for it? How many local businesses do we have operating in the country compared to the Chinese? Not many. Why? Because of jealousy and other issues that course locals to take precautions when engaging in business activities. They know that their lives are at risk.

This leads me to the points I’d like to discuss.

The goods the Chinese sell. We always say that the goods the Chinese sell are of low quality and we always brag about it.

We always say that Chinese goods are of low quality because of the perceived idea that we all have. That is all Chinese goods are of low quality and we turn to compare them to European goods.

We might want to import goods from European countries and sell them to our people but mind you, goods from European countries are more expensive than from Asia. For example, a Samsung 360 phone in Australia is selling at A$100. If you bought that phone for at A$100 and came and sold it in PNG at the same price but in kina that would cost around K222.22 at the current exchange rate of A$0.45/K1.

If this same phone was bought from Singapore at S$100, and then brought into PNG and sold at the same price it would cost K175.43 at the current exchange rate of S$0.57/K1. That is a K46.79 difference.

Therefore if we turn to the Europeans and begin importing their goods and sell them to our people, then we are making our own people to dig more into their pockets in order to obtain these goods.

It is a fact that the premises that these Chinese operate from are filthy. The task now is up to the relevant authorities such as the town councils and the health inspecting teams to deal with.

We cannot just blame this filthiness of premises on the Chinese but also blame the relevant authorities for not doing their task of doing regular inspections on these shops to see whether they are fit for use or they pose a human hazard.

Another problem is the influx of Chinese into PNG. This problem I think is that we have to find solutions to deal with the issue of influx of illegal migrants.

I did a research some time ago and found out that migrants from mainland China have been using corrupt methods to obtain work permits and visas from our embassy staff in China.

Once these people enter PNG shores they do not go and register or do regular visa updates with their embassy because they are afraid that they will be deported back to China.

Why do they not visit their embassy on a regular basis? It is because they have entered the country illegally.

This issue came to light after the anti-Asian riots in 2009. When the Chinese Embassy did a check on the number of Chinese nationals in PNG, the number exceeded the number of people they had on data.

So to combat this influx of illegal migrants it is up to the government now to decide what course of action or how are they going to deal with these illegal migrants. If our leaders continue to turn a blind eye on this issue, we do not know what will happen in the future.

To conclude, the Chinese are here to stay but the issue now is not on the impact they are having on us but how are we going to benefit from it.

Therefore it is for us now to whether make use of their presence here in PNG to our advantage or we can just stand aside and become mere spectators to their activities.

Kauvi De Villiers Korave

It is very true. This Chinese are doing these things to us in our country.

If the government wants to fulfill Vision 2050, then it should do something about them.

Yes we can say we must remove the Chinese and other Asians, but if we do, it will affect our country's economy and growth.

There are two groups of Chinese immigrants in our country and in other Pacific countries. They are the old Chinese and the new Chinese, and the old ones have being in our country for a long time since the colonial period whilst their the new are recent immigrants.

You will see the difference in their businesses. Old ones work hard and honestly to develop the country while the new steal from us.

Either way we can remove them but there are negative impacts of that. The PNG government should look into these issues before things go worse, like the anti-Asian riots in 2009 and in Solomon Islands in 2006.

Samuel Bariasi

We do not really have a choice right now. The only option we have is for Papua New Guineans to rise up and run businesses like the Chinese are operating at the moment.

I strongly believe that will create tough competition; I think that is the best way we can stop them from operating their businesses.

I will just say that Papua New Guineans are not made that way; we do not see the need for making money and work hard for it.

Because we act like we cannot do anything we create the opportunity for Chinese entrepreneurs to start and advance their businesses.

There are no other countries interested in investing in our country, everywhere you go you will see Chinese businesses operating.

Unless we stand up and take advantage of our available resources and opportunities, the Chinese are here to stay.

Axel Rice

Quote: "In my view, these Chinese businesses should be removed from the country for they sell low quality goods, pay low wages to locals, operate filthy shops and send money out of the country."

I sort of don't agree with some of your reasoning. Nobody is forcing our locals to go and work for them and receive low incomes. In a way they are actually helping us get employed.

Yes most of their products are of low quality, but then why do people bother buying their items. They satisfy that demand in our country.

As much as we may despise their presence in PNG, life goes on and the world is just one big oyster.

David Kitchnoge

Roll out the reintroduced Stret Pasin Stoa scheme and get Papua New Guineans owning and operating trade stores. Now!

Then pick a day and roll out the bulldozers, police, immigration and every other department that has some say in the whole matter and pull down all shanty and flea infested Chinese shops.

Land is becoming a precious commodity in places like Moresby these days and some of these shanty shops in prime locations like Downtown and Boroko need to make way for more modern and high rise buildings to accommodate the growing demand for office space.

Bernard Singu Yegiora

There are two sides to every story.

Whether you like it or not the Chinese are here to stay.

If I may suggest, we need to study China, its strategic culture which includes the Chinese language and its philosophy and society to be competitive against the 'New' Chinese.

We need to empower our citizens in order to compete with the 'New' Chinese. According to James Chin, the 'New' Chinese are Chinese people from the mainland and ethnic Chinese from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines.

It is now or never, otherwise, we will remain beggars, buai and ice block sellers in our own land.

The idea is not to be anti-Chinese and do what the people in Buka and Mendi are doing by chasing them out of their towns but empower our citizens with the ability to speak the Chinese language so they can go to the mainland and bring back goods to sell in their own shops. In this way they do not need to rent or lease their shops to mainland Chinese entrepreneurs.

In Guangzhou city, they have a section called 'Chocolate city'. This area is infested with people from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leon and others from different countries in Africa. The Africans living there can speak the Chinese language well and travel to and from Africa to trade.

Colin Huggins

Interesting report indeed as are the comments (4 so far).
Thank you Mr.Ishmael Palipal.

I don't think Mr Pini that your advice is well advised. Make sure your thoughts and those of the people of Madang are clearly heard by your member in the PNG Parliament.
He or she is the person you should approach.

I do recall that the local Chinese store-keeper in Finschhafen (1964/69) had a very dirty shop. You really wondered if you would get out without being bitten by a "nasty".

Where his money went I do not know, but I do know that a Chinese wife appeared and was treated like "shit" by him. Terrible, indeed. Arranged marriage I believe.

I look forward to reading more from the people of PNG on this matter.

Maureen Wari

Sadly the rule of supply and demand is at play and holds true here. The Chinese have the supply, the PNGn has the demand which is his need.

As long as this need is there, someone is going to supply. It is a give and take.

If PNGns in positions of authority are genuinely concerned, they will make sure the basic needs of ordinary citizens are met by ensuring that trade stores at such levels are locally owned and operated. A lot of work will go into making this happen.

The locals are equally responsible for this trend in that one doesn't care about the quality of goods provided or services received, as long as it is cheap. This comes from the fact that the price offered is what can be afforded and there isn't any other choice.

We must know that these Chinese stuff did not meet specifications of a customer somewhere so is rubbish.

Without an educated fight from our elected officials and concerned authorities coupled with slack (vague and outdated) trading laws, these rubbish find their way to our most vulnerable, seemingly easily.

The time has come for PNGns to rise up to the challenge. It will require real work and time. If things are to change, someone has to do it. Are we willing?

John Fowke

As far as Bougainville is concerned, you have the opportunity to check all arriving air and sea passengers and to ask obvious foreigners to show their visas. No visa - out. Tourist visa - ask for itinerary and check with the hotel or agency or friend named.

Keep a check in suspicious cases and act when visa expires. Business visas, just the same.

The ABG should not issue Licences to Trade to anyone but a genuine Bouganvillean business organisation in the case of wholesale, retail, spare parts and tools, electrical and building supplies and motor and boat/marine sales agencies and shipping companies, unless these are recognised, long-established PNG names, and are actually needed in Bougainville-Buka.

The ABG, which some say is confused and not singing all from the same sheet of music, should be firm in intent and run all this past a reputable lawyer.

I may be wrong, but I believe it will be the ABG's sole prerogative to issue Licences to Trade or whatever may now have replaced these.

The PNG statute book does not allow foreigners to trade in basic services and reatil sales. This is not observed on the mainland as all know - yet another sign of the weak bones of the body of governance in PNG; weak, manipulative and obese as it is; and with a strong sense of its own entitlements as opposed to those of it constituency of citizens - all 7 million of them.

Junior Pini

Bro thats true. For myself, I hate to see these Chinese stores in Madang. Madang is like their home or what?

I wish the local people will some day rise up and remove them.

Josiah Pup

The very issues that has been taking places since the start of economic development in PNG.

Like you have mention about government gives them a visa for a six-pack of beer and citizenship for living here only three years. This is actually what's happening.

If our government is seriously considering this issue I think our money will circulate around PNG and boost the economy.

Cos the Asians distribute false images of goods to us. What they did is to get our money and deposit to their own bank in Asia.

I strongly believe if O'Neill enforced the laws that will solve the issues we are facing today.

Thanks Ishmael for addressing the issue.

Michael Dom

Ishmael, I noted your essay in passing and was impressed by the terse, direct and unambiguous style. Well done.

I agree with your sentiments.

Our government fails to understand the real value of a democracy. What should happen is this: For every public servant who want's to kiss Mao's ass, there should be another who want's to kick it.

We have immigration laws. We have industrial and business regulations. We have civil health authorities.

Even if some corrupt government official wants to 'take in the back' for illegals, there should be another who's able to report on it. Checks and balances.

The Public Service is not empowered to work. Minister?

I grow weary of the moralizing, the brow beating, chest beating, agony column writing, bitch-fuss-and-moaning about everything right and wrong in PNG. Let's be truthful.

What's the biggest problem in PNG, it's us - we the people - each individual one of us walking around thinking about you and your own.

What happened to the so called Melanesian Way? It's dead carcass is reeking on the streets of Port Moresby, and in the hallways of Haus Tambaran.

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