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Something tragic happened to the Chinese in Trinidad last week when a Chinese couple were killed in a nighttime robbery at their business. Of course, Chinese people aren’t the only ones suffering from crime as the country is enduring another murderous year with the toll at over 220 for the year. In case you’re wondering, Trinidad is the Caribbean island country I grew up on and it’s a small, relatively prosperous oil-producing nation with some pleasant people and a laidback atmosphere. On the other hand, it’s got serious social and political problems, not the least being a nation with a GDP per capita of over US$20,000 yet coupled with a murder toll numbering in the 400s annually in a population of only 1.3 million. This sad double murder has shaken the local Chinese community and prompted the Chinese ambassador to express his shock and concern (the article headline is a bit over the edge). The national security minister, a certain controversial former FIFA vice president, also personally visited the couple’s adult children.

Interestingly, the couple who were killed hailed from Jiangsu, a relatively developed coastal province that is north of Shanghai, and the provincial capital is Nanjing. When I was in Trinidad, and for pretty much the entire 200-plus years that Chinese have been coming to Trinidad, almost all Chinese were Cantonese. However in the past decade, more Chinese have been coming to Trinidad to do business and immigrate, bringing their families and relatives. Also, some of these recent Chinese migrants hail from other parts of China. I don’t know the makeup or numbers of these non-Cantonese Chinese, but it’d be interesting to know. All I can say, is no matter where these Chinese migrants hail from, they are fellow Chinese and I’m saddened by this crime. I’m also saddened by the general state of affairs and the other murder victims in Trinidad.

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