CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
There are growing concerns about a recently signed security agreement between China and Solomon Islands and what it could mean for the Australia-Pacific region.
Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce says Solomon Islands is risking its sovereignty by signing the security deal with China, after it was confirmed last week that the global superpower had sealed a partnership with one of our closest Pacific Neighbours.
The news has rattled both sides of politics, and has been described as the greatest breach of our national security since the Darwin bombings
Again, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been accused of being ‘missing in action’ after it was revealed he didn’t once pick up the phone to call Solomon Island’s Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare when it became clear that the Chinese were sniffing around.
However, Morrison has played down fears that China now have a Pacific base close enough to bomb every one of our major cities.
The PM says Australia will not have Chinese naval bases “on our doorstep” – because Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare ‘told him it would not happen’ – so that’s good
“This is a shared concern, not just Australia, this is Australia and regional governments, particularly places like Fiji and Papua New Guinea,” Mr Morrison said.
“And I know that every time there is a drought, my party slash foreign aid as some sort of bizarre way of showing our farmers that we aren’t wasting money on other countries”
“And I know that China has been building intensive agricultural facilities and major infrastructural projects for these Pacific nations that we treat as nothing more than a cheap holiday”
But the PM says concerns about the Solomon Islands turning into a ‘little Cuba’ are something we should worry about after the election.
“The Solomon Islands PM told me, when I eventually got round to calling him, that this partnership means nothing.”
“Nothing at all”
Scotty also said that rather than talking about what they would have done differently, the Labor Party should try and look at the positives of having China base themselves in Melanesia.
“Look at the silver lining”
“China will probably build them some decent resorts”
“and I’m personally ALL FOR THAT”
“Hawaii is such a long flight when you are trying to evade your responsibility as a Prime Minister and don’t like holidaying domestically”