Aussie politicians urged to stop distorting facts and blaming China by slamming China-Solomons security pact: Chinese FM
Published: May 12, 2022 06:55 PM Updated: May 12, 2022 06:53 PM
Flags of China and the Solomon Islands Photo: VCG
Flags of China and the Solomon Islands Photo: VCG

China’s security pact with the Solomon Islands is based on mutual respect and equal consultation, which is beneficial to promoting social stability and lasting peace in the Pacific island country, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Thursday in response to Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s comments on China’s influence in the southwest Pacific.

China-Solomons security cooperation is open, aboveboard, reasonable, lawful and beyond reproach, Zhao said during a press briefing.

Morrison said during a campaign on Monday that he was aware of China’s ambitions in the southwest Pacific after an Australian newspaper reported plans by China to build wharves, shipyards and underwater cables in the Solomon Islands.

The newspaper published a leaked four-page draft maritime cooperation agreement between China and the Solomon Islands dated this year. That follows the recent confirmation by China and the Solomon Islands that they have signed a separate security agreement that the US and its allies fear could lead to a Chinese naval base less than 2,000 kilometers from the Australian coast.

“I am very concerned, as many other Pacific leaders are, about the interference and intrusion of the Chinese government into these types of arrangements and what that can mean for the peace, stability and security of the southwest Pacific,” Morrison said.

“I, instead, would like to ask Australia who claims Solomon Islands as its ‘backyard” and draws a ‘red line’ on China-Solomons security cooperation, if that is not a threat, what is it?” Zhao asked.

Zhao also questioned if Australia’s efforts in obstructing the Solomon government to exercise its sovereign rights and independent foreign cooperation is not interference, what is it then?

Zhao pointed out that Australia has been working under the table with countries outside the region to assemble military blocs, exacerbating the risk of nuclear proliferation. If that is not to provoke regional tensions and attempting to gain regional hegemony, what is it? Zhao asked, stressing that some Australian politicians should stop distorting facts and blaming the innocent.

Global Times