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Solomon Islands Prime Minister’s bipartisan Taskforce on the One-China policy leaves for Vanuatu today amidst speculation the move to sever relations with Taiwan continues to gain momentum within the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA).
Central Honiara MP, Dr John Moffat Fugui, a staunch supporter of the move to China, will head the seven-member delegation, which consists of five politicians and two protocol officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Other members of the delegation are Opposition MPs Rexson Ramofafia (MP for Fataleka) and West Kwaio MP Titus Fika, South Guadalcanal MP Rollen Seleso of the Independent Group in Parliament and Jamie Vokia, the new MP for North East Guadalcanal.
Vokia is a Government MP who is pro-China because of an interest shown by a Chinese firm in a gold deposit on Guadalcanal.
The delegation will spend three days in Port Vila, investigating what China has done in terms of infrastructure development in Vanuatu.
They are expected to visit some of the major projects funded by China, including road construction on Tanna Island as well as other projects in Port Vila Township itself.
They will then travel to Fiji Islands to continue their work.
China’s inroad into the Pacific region has earned the ire of traditional donors such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America. They have engaged in scare-mongering tactics to discourage Pacific Islands governments from taking up loans, which they say could end up being a dead trap for many island nations.
The delegation is also expected to visit Papua New Guinea, Tonga and the Cook Islands, where China is funding a multi-million dollar water supply system.
A voice of dissent has already emerged on the eve of the visit to Vanuatu. Some are suggesting that representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) and the Solomon Islands’ Chinese Association should be included on the delegation to give balance to the outcome of such visits.
SOURCE: ISLAND SUN/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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