Solomon Islands says it will limit Chinese police | Political news
The Solomon Islands’ envoy to Australia said Chinese police stationed there would be under local command.
The Solomon Islands’ envoy to Australia said Chinese police sent there would be under local force jurisdiction and unable to use the heavy-handed tactics seen in cities like Hong Kong.
“We will make sure that things that happen in other countries like Hong Kong don’t happen in our own country,” Robert Sisilo, the Solomon Islands’ high commissioner to Australia, told ABC radio on Monday.
Sisilo’s comments follow concerns about China’s growing influence in the Solomon Islands, a Pacific island nation of 700,000 people, after the two countries signed a security pact last month. Under the terms of the agreement, China can send armed police there to help preserve “social order”.
Sisilo said as soon as the Chinese police arrive in the Solomon Islands, they will be under local command.
The agreement is not unlike that shared between Australia and the Solomon Islands. During riots in the Solomon Islands in late November, Canberra sent over 70 security officers at the request of the islands’ government.
“Our Prime Minister has said that we are trying to diversify our sources of assistance and in this case we are looking to China to provide this type of support, just as Australia and other countries are providing the same level of support. “, said Sisilo during a press conference. the interview.
Australia and the United States fear the new pact will give China a military base in the Pacific.
The “broad nature of the security agreement leaves the door open for the deployment of the PRC [People’s Republic of China] military forces in the Solomon Islands,” the US State Department said after news of the security pact was released.
In Australia, the deal has sparked soul-searching over its relationship with the island nation and other Pacific countries that are also being sued by China.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has repeatedly denied that China will be able to build a base, while Sisilo told ABC his government is “on guard” for development deals that could give control of major infrastructure projects to China.
Countries like the Solomon Islands might want to avoid the mistakes of Sri Lanka, which was forced to hand over its port infrastructure to China in 2017 when it defaulted on a massive loan.