20 Dec 2004

CNMI Senator queries ban on Chinese tourists on Rota

7:03 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 Tinian and Saipan, 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 says people on Rota want the Chinese tourists to keep coming in.

He says a ban is unfair and economically damaging.