20 Dec 2004

CNMI senator queries ban on Chinese tourists

2:24 pm on 20 December 2004

The Senator for Rota in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas is calling for the Department of Defence to explain a move to ban Chinese tourists from the island.

This follows an announcement earlier this month by the Marianas Visitors Authority that Chinese tourists would be confined to Saipan and Tinian for defence reasons.

Senator Diego Songao says if there are such security concerns, there should be a blanket ban for the entire CNMI.

"My question here rests with the Department of Defence. That if they ban Rota, part of the Commonwealth, and they do not ban Saipan and Tinian, I don't think it is a logic, it is reasonable for this ban, as they call it, will jepordise the military presence in Guam."

Senator Diego Songao says people on Rota were looking forward to Chinese tourists coming in.

The senator says he has outlined his concerns to the Governor of the Northern Marianas Juan N. Babauta.

He says the ban on the Chinese tourists is unfair and will hurt the island's economy.