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Solomon Islands

Solomons will not be moved on China

The Solomon Islands treaty with China will remain and no external influence will sway the nation away from the security deal, said the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Collin Beck.

Mr Beck made the statement during a press conference in Honiara on Thursday.

He said the Solomon Islands was a sovereign nation and the deal with China was made on the basis of bilateral diplomatic ties.

He said the message had been passed onto the United States and Australia, and the relationship with these countries still remained very good.

A shot of Honiara. Picture: Twitter

“We have a very good relationship with the United States given the understanding that has been established. The Prime Minister, and the government have been met with the United State National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Kurt Campbell,” he said.

“As alluded to by the Prime Minister, the security arrangement we have with China was similar to what we have with Australia.

“Therefore, the treaty if we revoke it, will be triggered by Solomon Islands on our own call, and it will be done as a last resort.”

The China deal seems to have worked in favour of the Solomon Islands. Following the signing, United States, Australia and even New Zealand have given more attention to the island nation.

The US in particular has announced it will deepen diplomatic ties with the Solomon Islands and open an embassy in Honiara.

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However, this deal was followed by what seemed a threat from the US, as the White House stated that they would not sit quietly if China’s military presence grew in the Pacific.

In Australia, the federal opposition is using the Solomon Islands affair as ammunition in their smear campaign against the government.

Most comments coming from them have stated that the China deal happened because it was the failure of the Australian government to foster relationships with the Solomon Islands.

The talk in Australia led Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to state that countries should stop referring to the Solomon Islands as their backyard.

China’s Ambassador to Solomon Islands and Collin Beck, head of Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs Ministry, after they initialled the new security agreement between the two countries. Picture: Twitter

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told media that Australia would always be there for the Solomon Islands and other Pacific countries, and will continue working to build strong relationships with its Pacific neigbours.

“We’re the single largest provider of development assistance to the Solomon Islands,” he said.

“They’re family and that’s how we see our relationship with all of those Pacific islands.”

“We work constructively and patiently and we will work in a professional way and calm way.

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