23 Jul 2004

China gives Samoa 16 cars for Pacific Islands Forum summit

1:42 pm on 23 July 2004

China has given Samoa 16 new luxury motor cars for VIP transport during the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Apia next month.

The Chinese ambassador says 20 vehicles were sent - but two cars were damaged and another pair delayed during shipment.

The Samoa prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele says the vehicles will be used to transport the leaders of 16 forum member countries.

It's reported the 45,000 US dollar Buicks, are in the care of the police until the summit.

Samoa state television says it's not clear what will happen to the vehicles when the forum finishes.

Samoa's prime minister has used the donation to highlight other assistance China has bestowed, such as a swimming pool and a refurbishment of park facilities for the South Pacific Games.