CHINA / DIPLOMACY
Australia violates other countries' sovereignty by drawing 'red line' on China-Solomons cooperation: Chinese Vice FM
Published: Apr 28, 2022 05:42 PM
China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng Photo: website of China’s Foreign Ministry

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng Photo: website of China’s Foreign Ministry


 
What right does Australia have to draw a "red line" between China and the Solomon Islands? If this is not violation of other countries' sovereignty, what is? China's Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng asked during a video conference at the launch ceremony of the China-Pacific Island Countries Cooperation Center on Climate Change.

The Center was officially launched in Liaocheng, East China's Shandong Province on Thursday. China's Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng attended the launching ceremony via video and delivered a speech, in which Xie said that the China and Solomon Islands-signed security pact is the sacred right of two sovereign states and in line with international law and practice.

Xie said in his speech that, in September 2021, President Xi Jinping said in his phone conversation with leaders of Pacific Island countries that China was considering setting up a China-Pacific Island Cooperation Center on Climate Change to support them enhance their capacity to cope with climate change. Later, at the first Foreign Ministers' meeting between China and Pacific Island countries in October 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the construction of the center. "This is a concrete measure taken by China to expand practical cooperation with Island countries and a concrete action to enrich our comprehensive strategic partnership." Xie noted.

During his speech, Xie made clear China's position to the leaders of Pacific Island countries, diplomatic envoys to China, and Chinese and foreign media outlets who were present, in response to rumors and smearing by some countries that obstructed and interfered in the negotiation and signing of the security cooperation framework agreement between China and the Solomon Islands.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of the Solomon Islands confirmed the pact had been signed by foreign ministers from the two countries on April 20.

Xie said that China and the Solomon Islands independently negotiated and signed the pact, which is the sacred right of two sovereign states. "The bilateral security cooperation is open and transparent and not targeted at any third party. It does not conflict with our cooperation with other partners or existing mechanisms in the region, and serves the common interests of both countries and the South Pacific region." Xie said.

Responding to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's remarks that China is building a military base in the Solomon Islands and that this would be the "red line" for Australia and the US, Xie said that this is fundamentally different from the fact that some countries have formed a clique, stimulated arms races, increased the risk of nuclear proliferation, and incited confrontation between factions. 

"What right do these countries have to tell China what to do? What right does Australia have to draw a 'red line' between the Solomon Islands, which is 2,000 kilometers away from it, and China, which is 5,000 kilometers away? If this is not violation of other countries' sovereignty, interference in other countries' internal affairs and violation of international rules, what is?" Xie questioned.

An Australian soldier stands on the tarmac at Honiara Airport, Solomon Islands, Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Photo: VCG

An Australian soldier stands on the tarmac at Honiara Airport, Solomon Islands, Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Photo: VCG


Those who slander, smear and intimidate other countries expose their mentality of colonialism, Xie stressed. They are brazenly pursuing coercive diplomacy, and desperately trying to control Pacific Island countries and maintain their so-called sphere of influence.

"The Pacific Ocean is the common home of countries in the region, rather than anyone's backyard. It should be a big stage for international cooperation, rather than an arena for geopolitical games," Xie noted.

Since the Chinese Foreign Ministry on April 19 confirmed the signing of the security cooperation framework agreement between China and the Solomon Islands, China has been repeatedly emphasizing the legitimacy, transparency and openness of the security pact, refuting the endless slandering and smears from the US and Australia and explaining that the pact's aim is social stability and good governance in the Solomon Islands, without targeting any third party.

In developing relations and conducting cooperation with Pacific Island countries, China does not seek selfish gains, nor engage in bullying or coercion. China will always be a constructive force for peace and development, Xie said.

Global Times