We warned Australia about China’s military agreement: Solomon’s opposition leader

Matthew Wale, a prominent opposition leader in the Solomon Islands, warned Australian authorities last year that the Beijing and Sogavale governments are working on a military agreement that will allow the People’s Liberation Army to base its assets on the region. Claims to have done.

A deal that surprised officials last week was revealed after it began Circulate online On March 24, Chinese security personnel such as police, soldiers, weapons, and naval vessels were able to open the door to station in Pacific countries just 1,700 kilometers from the northern Australian city of Cairns.

“I told the Australian High Commissioner that there was a discussion about something that could lead to a security agreement that might be open to security assets, and that a coastal base facility is under construction,” he said. I told the Australian. “I already knew (plan) at that time because I was informed by someone who was participating in those discussions.”

He said he spoke with the Australian High Commissioner around August last year during an “exploratory debate” between Beijing and Sogavale.

Epoch Times Photo
People clean up debris from the streets of Honiara’s Chinatown in the Solomon Islands on November 28, 2021. (Charlie Piringi via Getty Images / AFP)

“I’m very disappointed with the Australian Government because there are all the signs and the Australian Government did nothing about it,” he said.

Australia’s main opposition, the Labor Party, has criticized the Morrison administration for its cuts to support Pacific nations and its lack of involvement with leaders in the region.

“We wouldn’t have cut back on funding for the aid that came from Labor’s predictions when there was a change of power. Labor leader Anthony Albanese told reporters on March 26,” It’s a short-sighted eye. It was a target. “

Albanese will meet with security officials on 28 March, noting that the development of the Pacific was a serious concern.

However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison argued against the claim, saying that support for the region had increased by 50 percent.

“We decided to focus and get together while they (Labor government) chased a vote on the UN Security Council and invested money on continents far from our region. This started under the Minister of Foreign Affairs and gathered our overseas development support. We saw it as our first responsibility, so we focused it from all over the world and to the Pacific region. ” He said Reporter on March 26..

Still, Cleopascal, an associate fellow of Chatham House’s Asia-Pacific program, said it was unwise to try to run out of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) influence-building machines.

“You send to the police. The Chinese will send their own police,” she told the Epoch Times. “You train police officers. They will train police officers.”

Epoch Times Photo
(LR) Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavale, Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manere, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister Lee will attend the signing ceremony at the Great Hall in Beijing, China on October 9. , 2019. (Thomas Peter-Pool / Getty Images)

“The difference is that there is a powerhouse to support them (Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavale of the Solomon Islands). Sogavale has never endorsed Washington, democracy, or accountability and transparency.”

Pascal, with support from Beijing, may seek to consolidate the current Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, and Australia and New Zealand will join the country’s democratic process through the 2000 Townsville Peace Agreement. Warned that efforts should be made to revitalize. Pressure on Sogavale.

“We will carry out the steps agreed by various states, including Malaita. There is a series of things that have already been negotiated. Everyone, including the government under the Sogavale administration, has signed,” she said.

The 2000 agreement ended the violence between rival militia groups and Solomon’s government and became the foundation of the current government.

“Sogavale and his MPs are given the option to’can trade with China or with other countries in the world,'” she added, Sogavale and his cabinet. He said he could lose the privileges he was given in his relationship. Relations with Australia, in turn, could put internal pressure on the embarrassed prime minister.

Prioritizing the revitalization of the democratic process to fend off China’s influence, Samoa’s new Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mataafa was scheduled to be promoted to the Supreme Government last year for a $ 100 million Belt and Road Initiative project. Has been abolished. Sailele Malielegaoi.

The leaked “Framework Agreement on Security Cooperation between the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Government of the Solomon Islands” has not yet been officially formalized.

Article 1 of the Security Agreement states that the Solomon Islands can require China to “send police, armed police, gendarmerie and other law enforcement agencies and troops to the Solomon Islands to help maintain social order.” ing.

Article 2 states that Beijing “with the consent of the Solomon Islands, visits ships to provide logistical support in the Solomon Islands, and makes stopovers and transitions in the Solomon Islands, depending on their needs. And the relevant Chinese troops are available. ” This is to protect the safety of the Chinese and the major projects of the Solomon Islands. “

A U.S. State Department spokesperson said the deal did not address the underlying problem that caused the deadly riots that shook the capital Honiara in late November last year.

“We do not believe [People’s Republic of China] Security forces and their methods need to be exported. ” “This will only fuel local, regional and international concerns about the unilateral expansion of Beijing’s internal security equipment into the Pacific Ocean.”

Daniel Y. Ten


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national politics, including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and relations between Australia and China. Do you have a hint? Contact him at [email protected]