Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Solomon PM says Chinese security deal ready to sign



Solomon PM says Chinese security deal ready to sign

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (L) has rebuffed fears that a leaked security pact with China would "destabilise" the region. THOMAS PETER POOL/AFP/File

Solomon PM says Chinese security deal ready to sign

The Solomon Islands’ prime minister on March 29 said a contentious security agreement with Beijing was “ready for signing”, denying reports that his country had been pressured to allow a Chinese naval base to be built in the Pacific island nation.

In an impassioned speech to parliament, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare offered little detail on the final deal beyond saying that there was “no intention whatsoever … to ask China to build a military base in the Solomon Islands”.

He dismissed reports in the Australian media that his country was being pressured by China to build the base.

“Where does that nonsense come from? The security treaty … is pursued at the request of the Solomon Islands’ government,” he said.

“We are not pressured in any way by our new friends.”

A draft version of the agreement, leaked last week, sent shockwaves through Canberra because it included proposals that would allow Chinese security and naval deployments to the Pacific nation.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said reports of the deal were “a reminder of the constant pressure and threats that present in our region to our own national security”. His New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern called the draft deal “gravely concerning”.

But Beijing on March 29 dismissed all concerns, calling the pact “beyond reproach”.

Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China hoped the “relevant countries can earnestly respect the Solomon Islands’ sovereignty … instead of condescendingly believing that they have the right to tell the Solomon Islands what it should or should not do”.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Solomon Islands (AFP/Laurence CHU)

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol

  • Ministry to 'seek justice' for officials indicted in US for 'monkey smuggling'

    The Cambodian government and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said they will make the “utmost effort” to seek justice for a Cambodian official arrested in John F Kennedy International Airport in New York for allegedly conspiring to smuggle crab-eating macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,