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China's security deal with Solomons raises alarm in Pacific

24 Comments
By NICK PERRY and DAVID RISING

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Solomon Islands is a failed state with corrupt leaders

What role have outside powers played in the Solomon Islands leading up to the riots?

In April 2019, Sogavare was sworn in for his fourth term as the Solomon Islands’ prime minister. His reascension to national leadership was controversial, and riots in Honiara were narrowly avoided at the time. Sogavare came to power again without a strong governing record and was not seen by many to be the answer to the nation’s many problems.

In September 2019, he suddenly switched the nation’s 36-year diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China. Allegations of corruption proliferated. A few days after that shock announcement, it came to light that a Chinese company had been granted a 75-year lease on an entire island, Tulagi, without landholder knowledge or consent. This deal was deemed illegal but was a taste of the favored status Chinese firms were to enjoy in the Solomon Islands under the renewed leadership of Sogavare.

Deadly riots broke out in the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara, on the main island of Guadalcanal, on November 24, after Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare refused to meet with protestors from Malaita, the nation’s most populous province. When the prime minister’s residence and the parliament building were dangerously close to also being breached by rioters, Sogavare issued an urgent plea for international assistance. Australian forces began arriving on November 26 to restore calm, followed by those from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and New Zealand.

Don't ask for their help next time

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Their island, so they get to choose.

Sadly, they will learn the hard way what this agreement truly means ... like Tibet, Hong Kong, and other places have.

Hopefully, free speech isn't the first thing to go and the next politicians can rescind the agreement, but that will be hard since China has effectively gained all control over the media now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So basically the issue isn't that China has offered an alternative to the Solomon Islanders to the micromanagement of the Imperium, it's that the Imperium reacts badly to not having total control over a relationship.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This may cause a resumption of civil war in the Solomons. The island of Malaita is strongly pro Taiwanese and anti PRC.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

China knows exactly how to buy leaders,

The worst part is China couldn't buy these, cough cough stomp stomp, "leaders" if they weren't for sale to the highest bidder :/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No Chinese military in the Pacific until free Tibet and Uighuristan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China's money is welcome in the Middle East, big surprise. The CCP still are ethnic cleansing Uighurs at home.

Nothing’s surprising with that. They don’t like their own kind in the Middle East, if they are kind of violent, resisting or going wild, they ignore them all and don’t provide help, not the Uighurs, not the Yemenis and not the Palestinians etc. It would potentially disturb or endanger their monarchies or status quo in despotic regimes. The Chinese copycat that only, for similar reasons.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

China's money is welcome in the Middle East, big surprise. The CCP still are ethnic cleansing Uighurs at home. They would do it in the Middle East, too. Sorry about the uprising in the Solomon Islands, but maybe they need to address the fact that the PRC is the problem, not the solution.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

China doesn't have much of a navy if it cannot refuel and resupply.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A destabilizing move for the region that reduces security and endangers the Solomon Islands people. Chinese police and troops will be more concerned with the safety of Chinese citizens and they will be brutal to any Islanders they believe to be threatening.

The Islanders will end up reacting like FIJI with its large population of Indian heritage, and try to keep power in their hands.

China will end up declaring the Chinese population wanting to become their own republic then a few years later voting amongst themselves to become part of China. As shown by Donbas and Ossetia joining Russia.

Empire building in action. The world back in 18th-19th century with expanding empires all over again.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Dealing with China is almost always a one way relationship, Solomon will soon find out.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Don't think it's stupid or silly. It's corrupt, just like Ecuador's $11 billion dam that it doesn't need, or Sri Lanka's port that it also doesn't need and corrupted it. China knows exactly how to buy leaders, and the west more than likely also knows where the money is hidden but won't do anything about it.

Don't forget also China publicly paid $30k to each politician that voted to switch from Taiwan to China. Corrupt, just corrupt, so much for China's no interference in another country policy.

The fact PM Sugavare thinks he needs Chinese military to help with law and order in his own country speaks volumes about who he trusts to keep him safe.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Stupid move that's bound to be regretted more sooner than later.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

This is going to get messy. Solomon people are very proud and have a strong warrior culture, not sure how they will react to Chinese police, soldiers. It would appear the government made this decision against the people will.

2019 — a move rejected by the most populous province and a contributing factor to riots last November.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It's not for the benefit of the islands, but for protection of Chinese traders there, who were the target of islanders' anger. I am guessing that the native islanders will gradually be disinherited of more of their wealth and livelihoods, as in many African states.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Solomon Islands, home to about 700,000 people, switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing in 2019 — a move rejected by the most populous province and a contributing factor to riots last November.

The America neo-liberal corporatocracy when faced with a political realignment will give up American hegemony to realign with Chinese state controlled capitalism.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Mates you have lost ground for good,more islands may follow if will see that Chienes support may benefit them better than yours...

looks like that sub base in Australia will be built sooner than later, US nuke subs are now on the cards for being leased by Australia until their own nuke subs are built

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Solomons were exploited by european colonists than by Australia and UK until they get own independency from UK in 1978.

These times there were no "alarm raisings" as islands were exploited by US.

No problem at all when all profits were pocketed by colonists from Europe.

Now when chinese want do same thing there is a panic...?

Mates you have lost ground for good,more islands may follow if will see that Chienes support may benefit them better than yours...

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

"China could send police, military personnel and other armed forces to the Solomons “to assist in maintaining social order."

The right to rename the islands and incorporate them as a Chinese province, which incidentally have been inherent Chinese territory since ancient times, is in the fine print.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Australia's agreement with the Solomon islands is soon to end that for sure.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Some has described this as a potential Cuban Missiles Crisis for Australia.

China so far operates just one acknowledged foreign military base, in the impoverished but strategically important Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti. 

China will need to invest more in its military to catch up to the US with some 800 military bases around the world.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Pre-kindergarten level, you sweet little toddlers…That’s still just only looking into the room through the peephole and limited to one third of the central belt. If you want an impression of how some certain powerful countries want the room to soon look like, you have to add the longer term intentions spoken (yes, I know, in fact he twittered) out by for example Medvedev et al. into your considerations.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

well Australia NZ and USA loosing own ground there...

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

PM Sogavare is on his 4th and more than likely last stint as pm so he’s getting his retirement plan sorted.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

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