tengoku
tengoku
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Australian PM urges calm after Solomons leader cites ’invasion’ threat

Australian PM urges calm after Solomons leader cites ’invasion’ threat

CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged a calm response today (May 5) after the Solomon Islands’ leader cited an “invasion” threat and said his nation was being treated like an infant wielding a handgun.

Chinesepolitics
By AFP

Thursday 5 May 2022, 02:55PM


Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (left) with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: AFP

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (left) with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: AFP

Morrison, who faces federal elections May 21, has been battling criticism of his government’s foreign policy after the Pacific island nation signed a security pact with China last month.

The China deal raised alarm in Australia and the United States, which fear it may give Beijing a military foothold in the South Pacific less than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) from Australia’s coast.

“We need to be calm and composed when we deal with these issues,” Morrison told journalists today.

The Australian leader said he was concerned for the security of the Solomons and the Pacific after Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare signed the “secret arrangement” with Beijing.

Morrison insisted his government treated the Pacific “family” as an equal.

But Sogavare was irritated by US and Australian criticism of the deal.

“We deplore the continued demonstration of lack of trust by the concerned parties,” Sogavare told parliament Tuesday, adding there was “nothing to be concerned about” with the pact.

We are insulted’

Without naming countries, Sogavare said there had been a “warning of military intervention” if other countries’ interests were undermined in the Solomons.

“In other words, Mr Speaker, we are threatened with invasion. And that is serious,” the prime minister said.

HeadStart International School Phuket

“We are being treated as kindergarten students walking around with Colt 45s in our hands, and therefore we need to be supervised,” he added.

“We are insulted.”

Sogavare’s government severed ties with Taiwan in September 2019 in favour of diplomatic relations with China, a switch that unlocked investment but stoked inter-island rivalries.

Last November, protests against Sogavare’s rule flared into riots in the capital Honiara, during which much of the city’s Chinatown was torched.

Australia deployed about 100 police and military peacekeepers in response to a request by the Solomon Islands. They were joined by forces from New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

But Sogavare said a “personal envoy” of Morrison had briefed him at the time that the peacekeepers would not protect Chinese businesses or China’s embassy.

Chinatown could not be saved “because our police were overwhelmed”, Sogavare said, adding the “rules of engagement” precluded peacekeeper involvement.

The prime minister said Solomon Islands police were unable to assure the Chinese embassy’s protection during the Honiara riots.

China’s ambassador had asked the Solomons government to allow it to bring in 10 “special police protection personnel”, he said, to help secure the embassy.

“Under the UN conventions, we are fully obliged to grant that request,” Sogavare said.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Working group aiming to tackle Phuket’s drug problem

Kurt, they don't need sniffer dogs on Bangla Road. The drug sellers can be seen openly to custom...(Read More)


Pubs, bars and karaokes to reopen June 1

Cue the 'scion' bleating on again about the need to be open until 4am!...(Read More)


Foreign woman attacked in Chon Buri

@JohnC Dodgy ? You should really stop your hasty assumptions, as not for the first time those ...(Read More)


Foreign woman attacked in Chon Buri

It's quite often that someone who has sustained a head injury has short term memory loss. Seeing...(Read More)


Pandemic, or Endemic Epidemic? It’s all Academic!

It should never have even been declared a "pandemic" in the first place smh...(Read More)


Prayut defends performance

Oh goody- another hub. ...(Read More)


Foreign woman attacked in Chon Buri

Gosh, somene commenting here has never been dosed in a bar, or been attacked on a walk sustaining ...(Read More)


Working group aiming to tackle Phuket’s drug problem

It is with drugs and counterfeit goods the same. Once in a while a raid for publicity to satisfy pub...(Read More)


Make online casinos legal, parties urge

We live in a different era now, that of international electronic/internet use. It is without borders...(Read More)


Foreign woman attacked in Chon Buri

Very dodgy indeed. How can she honestly say with a straight face she doesn't remember what happe...(Read More)