China slams US hype of botched deal in Solomon Islands

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/29 18:41:54

Mark Esper Photo: VCG

The Chinese foreign ministry slammed the US hype of the suspension of a Chinese company's development plan in the Solomon Islands, saying that China had seen enough of tricks used by the latter. 

The government of the Solomon Islands vetoed a deal between a Chinese company and the Solomon's Central Province to develop one of its islands, Reuters reported on Friday. 

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper applauded the move, saying in a statement that it was "an important decision to reinforce sovereignty, transparency, and the rule of law, Reuters reported. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a routine press conference that the deal was terminated as the local government did not report the plan to the Solomn  Islands government, and that "it is an isolated commercial case." 

"The Chinese government always requires Chinese companies which want to invest overseas to obey international rules and local laws. We encourage related Chinese companies to maintain communication with the Solomon Islands and properly resolve the issue," Geng said.

Geng said situations may occur in Chinese companies' overseas operations, including the Pacific region, which is normal. However, the US unexpectedly overreacted as even the US defense minister issued a statement on the issue to smear relations between China and Pacific island countries.  

In the statement, Esper accused China of using "economic and military levers to expand its influence" that was "detrimental" to nations and people in the Pacific. 

As a response, Geng noted that China has seen enough of similar tricks from the US. He said that he could not help asking the US side, "Do you really care about the interests of Pacific island countries and their residents? Or only care about US geopolitical interests?"

China  and the Solomon Islands formally established diplomatic relations on September 21 after the latter cut ties with Taiwan island. 

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