9 Feb 2007

PNG recalls ambassador to China

4:21 pm on 9 February 2007

Papua New Guinea has recalled its ambassador to China, Max Rai, as the diplomatic mission continues to come under the spotlight over the illegal influx of Chinese.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that Mr Rai will be replaced by former Bougainville regional MP and Governor John Momis, who will take up his post after the Chinese government gives the green light.

PNG's foreign minister, Paul Tiensten, says cabinet made a decision to replace Mr Rai.

Mr Tiensten says the illegal immigrants issue continued to give the department a bad name and needed to be addressed.

He is optimistic Mr Momis will tackle the problem, saying the new ambassador would bring back some credibility for PNG in Beijing.