Australia Asks Solomon Islands Not To Sign China Pact
Officials from Communist China and Solomon Islands have initialled but not yet signed a security pact.
An Australian minister met with the leader of the Solomon Islands on Wednesday and asked him not to sign a proposed security agreement between the Pacific islands nation and Communist China that Australia opposes.
Despite a national election campaign putting the Australian government in “caretaker” mode, when ministers traditionally avoid diplomatic engagement with international governments, Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja visited Honiara with the support of Australia’s main opposition Labor Party.
We have asked Solomon Islands respectfully to consider not signing the agreement and to consult the Pacific family in the spirit of regional openness and transparency, consistent with our region’s security frameworks, Mr. Seselja said in a statement after meeting with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and other ministers.
Officials from Communist China and Solomon Islands have initialled but not yet signed a security pact that Australia, New Zealand, United States and some Pacific islands neighbours have criticised as undermining regional stability.
Australia is Solomon Islands top development partner and would allocate A$160 million ($119 million) in support this year, Seselja added.
We welcome recent statements from Prime Minister Sogavare that Australia remains Solomon Islands security partner of choice, and his commitment that Solomon Islands will never be used for military bases or other military institutions of foreign powers, he said.
Beijing Plots To Threaten Australia's Security
On Tuesday, a leaked memo surfaced on social media showing the Beijing regime had told the Solomon Islands in December it wanted to send a security team of 10 Chinese police with weapons including a sniper rifle, machines guns and electrical listening devices to protect embassy staff in the wake of riots in Honiara in November.
Any Chinese military presence on the Salomon Islands will significantly deteriorate Australia's security, the specialists concluded.
The Solomon Islands government said in a statement on Wednesday no Chinese guns had entered the country other than a shipment of replica weapons used by Chinese police training officers.