/ 02 August 2022

China and the Solomons get cosy again

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty

Australia has been urged to intervene in the proposed sale of a Solomon Islands port and WWII airstrip to a Chinese state-owned company. To go back a step, the security agreement signed by the 2 nations raised concerns about China’s ambitions to expand its influence in the Pacific region. And to soothe jangled regional nerves, both countries said Beijing will not set up a permanent military presence there. But those fears are rising following a new investigation by ABC’s Four Corners that has revealed China has restarted negotiations to secure several strategic assets in the Solomons. It’s also claimed that China provided a slush fund to keep the Solomons’ pro-China PM Manasseh Sogavare in power. Nearly $3 million from that fund was allegedly distributed to MPs loyal to Sogavare – something critics have condemned as “corruption”.

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