'Bully' Australia coerces Pacific island countries, smears China's role in the region
Published: Mar 28, 2022 10:22 PM
Scott Morrison Photo:Xinhua

Scott Morrison Photo:Xinhua

While hyping rumors and creating fear that China is aggressively expanding its military in the South Pacific region, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is lobbying Pacific Island countries against a draft security agreement between China and the Solomon Islands, desperately trying to maintain its role of "South Pacific bully" under its hegemonic and colonialist mentality.

However, any attempt to disrupt the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the island nation will never succeed, Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

Media reported on Monday that Morrison held talks with counterparts from Fiji and Papua New Guinea over the Solomon Islands' cooperation with China.

Since the draft deal leaked last Friday, Western media has been saying that the agreement sparked alarm in Canberra, Wellington and Washington, at the same time circulating rumors that the deal could "pave the way for China's ships to be based in the Pacific and to have a naval base."

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce suggested China was pursuing a base because it was "trying to restrict our capacity of movement and intimidate us."

The normal law enforcement and security cooperation between China and Solomon Islands is sincerely welcomed by the two governments and two peoples, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, reiterated at a press conference on Monday. 

"Why are there concerns [of some countries]? Who has been sending military aircraft and warships to other countries' doorsteps all year round, posing a serious threat to the sovereignty and security of relevant countries? Who created the militarized clique that brought nuclear proliferation risks to the Pacific?  Who is deliberately stoking tensions, creating confrontation and casting a shadow over regional peace and stability?" Wang asked.

China and the Solomon Islands are two independent sovereign states, and the normal cooperation between the two countries is in line with international law and practice, conducive to social stability and enduring peace and stability, which will contribute to the common interests of countries in the region, Wang stressed.

He urged relevant countries to earnestly respect the sovereignty of the Solomon Islands and the decisions it has made independently, rather than assuming that they are entitled and privileged to define what other countries should and should not do from a condescending position.

For a long time, it has been Australia that has acted as a bully and arbitrarily coerced South Pacific island countries, said Chen Hong, president of the Chinese Association of Australian Studies and director of the Australian Studies Center at East China Normal University.

In recent years, Australia, on the one hand, obediently serves the "Indo-Pacific strategy" of the US to suppress China's development and tries to help maintain the hegemony of the US on the global and regional levels. On the other hand, Australia regards the South Pacific region as its own backyard, Chen told the Global Times on Monday.

Australia is one of the largest aid donors to South Pacific island nations, but most of the aid was aimed at essentially forcibly transplanting the Western political system and social governance model to the island countries, and supporting pro-Australian politicians in order to control the policymaking process of some of the countries' governments, especially in their foreign policies, Chen said.

In contrast, since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China and the Solomon Islands have rapidly advanced mutually beneficial cooperation through project assistance, investment and trade, and high-quality Belt and Road Initiative cooperation. China has continued to provide economic and technological assistance with no political strings attached, and the two countries have conducted win-win cooperation, with encouraging results.