6 Dec 2004

Vanuatu PM accused of insulting, shoving Chinese ambassador

4:50 pm on 6 December 2004

China's ambassador in Port Vila has accused Vanuatu's Prime Minister of insulting and shoving him on the steps of parliament.

Bao Shusheng says the incident occurred when he went to see Serge Vohor to complain that the flag of Taiwan was still flying at a Port Vila hotel.

Beijing's envoy understood the flag was to have been taken down following a ruling by the council of ministers.

However Mr Vohor, who has been pursuing diplomatic links with Taipei despite his council's commitment to the One China policy, ordered the Taiwan flag to be raised again.

Mr Bao says he went to discuss the matter with Mr Vohor as he was leaving parliament...

"So I went together with him but as we went out of the main entrance he stopped and I also stopped, then he showed his fist to me, he showed fist in my face and then he suddenly just pushed my right shoulder without my knowing what was happening, he turned about and rushed into his car. Then the car drove away and I was stopped by his guards."

Bao Shusheng says he is insulted and cannot understand Mr Vohor's actions, but does not intend to make a formal complaint about it.