The Pacific Community seeks more transparency from Solomon over its deal with China: Australia’s Foreign Minister

Australia and its Pacific neighbors are calling for greater transparency from political leaders in the Solomon Islands regarding security agreements with China.

“”[There‚Äôs] Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne expressed concern on Sunday that the agreement lacked transparency and should itself be discussed in the context of the broader Pacific Islands Forum.

The minister said Canberra was assured by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavale that the security agreement with China would not include the establishment of a Chinese military base.

“I think they are very important guarantees,” she said, adding that security cooperation will continue despite Sogavale’s agreement with China.

However, despite the guarantee, there are concerns about China’s intentions in the area, and leaked documents suggest that Beijing was scouting the area’s location to develop military projects. ..

Neighboring countries in the Pacific are calling for further discussion on the details of the security agreement with China.

“Australia will support the debate. Other countries are asking for it,” Payne said of the potential talks.

She said the guarantee from Sogavale was the result of discussions with Pacific Minister Zed Seselja with her, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and his Pacific neighbors.

“We have been engaged in Solomon Islands work and bilateral security work for a long time,” she said.

Senator Payne said it was under a bilateral security treaty between the Solomon Islands and Australia and supported New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, who went to the country at the end of last year to deal with the anxieties that arose. At that time mentioned.

Protesters have asked Sogavale to resign his decision to switch loyalty from Taiwan to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2019. Subsequent riots destroyed the Chinatown area and attacked Sogavale’s residence.

AAP contributed to this report.