PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday July 18, 2012 – Chinese Ambassador Yang Youming has expressed shock and horror at the killing of two of his countrymen and has appealed to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to take all necessary measures and precautions to ensure the safety of the lives of the Chinese community and their properties.
The appeal came after Wu Xia Hua, 60, and her husband Yang Jiang Hua, 59, were shot during a robbery at Tiger’s Chinese Restaurant and Bar in Cunupia on Thursday. Xia Hua died on the spot and Jiang Hua died hours later at hospital.
The shooting deaths of the Chinese-born businesswoman and her husband have also sparked a public outcry from Chinese nationals, who are calling on National Security Minister Jack Warner to protect them.
The China Society and affiliated groups, Sun Wai Association, Toy Shan Association, Fui Tong On Association, Chinese Civic Association, Chinese Association of T&T, St Ann’s, and Chung Shan Association have scheduled an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss mounting crimes against the Chinese community. Over 20,000 Chinese live and work in Trinidad and Tobago.
President of the China Society Yung Gen Siu said too many Chinese nationals were being targeted, while Secretary of the China Society Michael Lee said many of the crimes against his fellow countrymen went unreported.
According to Lee, the society plans to draft a letter to Warner at Saturday’s meeting, which will outline the concerns of the Chinese community.
“There is a lot of crime facing us. The local Chinese cannot speak English properly, so when they get robbed they don’t know how to deal with that. Many of them do not report the robbery. They do not know how to do the follow-up after the robbery,” Lee said, noting that there was a need to educate those in business so they would be prepared to deal with crime.
Lee added that the Chinese community was also concerned about the crimes committed against everyone in Trinidad and Tobago, indicating that it was businesspeople generally who were being targeted by the criminals.
He went on to say that he did not believe that Chinese nationals were contemplating leaving the country because of the crime situation, but added that would also be discussed at Saturday’s meeting.
First vice president of Toy Shang Association, Robert Chin Ching, said crime was a scourge facing the entire world. He said a preventative system must be put in place to deal with the situation. Chin Ching denied that Chinese nationals were the specific target of criminals.
“It is all business owners who must be protected because not only the Chinese are affected. Crime is a national problem,” he said.
Chin Ching indicated that the Chinese nationals were not calling for special treatment. “What we want is for the minister to work with us,” he said.
He noted that the Chinese were very community-oriented and agreed that language barriers and cultural differences were hindering the reporting of crimes against their community.
Some nationals were thinking about closing up their businesses in protest against crime, he added.