The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands accused the Australian government of hypocrisy over the security agreement with his country Chinasaying that the Aukus charter was far from transparent but “did not become theatrical and hysterical”.
Manasseh Sogavari said Solomon Islands and other countries in the region “should have been consulted to ensure that this Treaty of Oaks is transparent because it will affect the Pacific family by allowing nuclear submarines in Pacific waters.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded on Friday afternoon, noting that Sogavary had changed his view based on “other influences” and that there was “notable similarity between those statements and those of the Chinese government”.
China announced last week that it did signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands, although the final terms of that deal have yet to be announced.
Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States Announced in mid-September They will deepen trilateral security cooperation through Aukus and launch a project to find the best way for Australia to get at least eight nuclear-powered submarines.
Australia’s Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, used a speech Thursday to Criticism of the secrecy surrounding Solomon The security pact while insisting that “no document is signed and kept out of public view” would alter Australia’s commitment to meeting the needs of Pacific Island nations.
In a sometimes defensive speech to parliament in Honiara on Friday, Sogavary said “Western media” had accused the Solomon Islands and China of showing a lack of transparency about the agreement. But Sugavari said he “first learned of the Oaks Treaty in the media”.
“One would expect that as a member of the Pacific family, the Solomon Islands and Pacific members should have been consulted to ensure the transparency of this Aukus Treaty, as it would affect the Pacific family by allowing nuclear submarines in Pacific waters,” Sogavari said.
“Oh, but I realize… that Australia is a sovereign country, and it can make any treaty it wants, transparently or not – and that is exactly what they have done with it.” [the] Treaty of Okos”.
Sogavary added: “When Australia joined Aukus, we did not become theatrical and hysterical about the effects this might have for us. We respected Australia’s decision. I am happy to say that Australia, the USA and Japan respected our sovereignty to enter into this security agreement with China as well, On the basis of trust and mutual respect.
Morrison said he spoke with Sugavari the day after Ocuse’s announcement in September 2021, as part of a round of calls with several leaders to brief them on what had been negotiated in a “very secure” environment.
Morrison said Australia moved quickly to reassure the Pacific about Australia’s continued commitment to meeting its nuclear non-proliferation obligations.
I had that conversation with the Prime Minister [Sogavare] The day after the announcement, and no issues at that time had been brought up in that discussion,” Morrison told reporters during a campaign stop in Tasmania.
But obviously, with the passage of time and the entry into new relationships, it is clear that there are some other influences in the perspective taken by the Chief Minister of Solomon Islands. Now, I understand that.”
When a reporter asked if Morrison was saying that Sogavary was parroting China’s speech, the Australian prime minister replied: “There is a remarkable similarity between those statements and those of the Chinese government.”
was china He is particularly critical of the Aukus AgreementIt saw it as part of US efforts to contain it, and stressed the dangers of non-proliferation.
Wang Wenbin, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official, told reporters on Wednesday that the United States and Australia were guilty of “pure double standards.”
“The United States did not show any openness and transparency when it conducted nuclear tests and dumped nuclear waste in the South Pacific and when Aukus opened Pandora’s box for nuclear proliferation in Asia Pacific Wang said.
Sugavari confirmed on Friday that the Solomon Islands would not allow a Chinese military base in the country. He said he agreed with other leaders, including Morrison, that such a military base would not be in the interest of the Solomon Islands or the region.
But Sugavari said he found it “very, very offensive.” Canberra flatly denied It refused to allow the Australian Police and Defense Forces to protect Chinese infrastructure and the Chinese embassy during last year’s riots in Honiara.
He said Solomon Islands “has no choice but to enter into a security agreement with our other bilateral partners to bridge the gaps in our security agreement with Australia.”
“The Solomon Islands is grateful for the security agreement it has with Australia,” Sogavary said.
“However, the 2006 riots and the recent riots in November showed that even with Australia’s support, we couldn’t stop half of Honiara from falling to the ground.”
Sogavari said that the stability of the Solomon Islands would lead to the stability of the Pacific and that his country “does not subscribe to the view that only partner or partners of the same ideology are able to do this.”
On Thursday, a key advisor to the prime minister of the most populous province of the Solomon Islands Expressed concern that the deal Sugavari can be used by Chinese police and army individuals to crush democratic opposition and retain power for years to come.
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