Solomon Islands Opposition leader calls for transparency into newly signed agreements with China

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Solomon Islands leader of Opposition Matthew Wale says the Prime Minister and his Government must clarify the recently signed agreements with China.

In a statement, Wale said it is quite serious and that amongst the nine newly signed agreements, it is purported one is a comprehensive strategic agreement and the other, a new policing security agreement.

The Opposition Leader said this only gives rise to a lot of questions the public are entitled to answers.

The Opposition Office understands a number of government ministers were not aware of the deal relating to these agreements.

Wale said this begs the question as to whether Cabinet has sanctioned the signing of these new agreements with China.

“This is simply outrageous if true. The Prime Minister is known for making cold-hearted decisions but to bypass Cabinet as reported, and to sign agreements that affect our national interest threatens our national security and puts us in an awkward situation with our other bilateral and security partners in the region,” he said.

The Opposition Leader said any sensible leader would know that toying around with Australia and the U.S on security matters in the region is dangerous given their long history in the region.

Wale said our national interest should always come first in such undertakings.

He said the Prime Minister’s recent action in China has just pushed Solomon Islands further into the spotlight in the geopolitical struggle between China and USA.

“Solomon Islands is on its own in the region in the speed and breath in which it is concluding these agreements,” Wale said.

The Opposition Leader reiterated that Sogavare’s actions make a mockery of his pretence of being a friend to all and enemy to none.

Wale said Sogavare is clearly pro-China and anti U.S and Australia – “friend to one and be damned with the rest.”

The Opposition leader said all agreements are concluded on behalf of the people of Solomon Islands and it should be done transparently.

“The people are entitled to know what are contained in agreements signed on their behalf not only with China but also with U.S, Australia and all our diplomatic partners. Therefore, I call on the Prime Minister and his Government to publicly disclose all the agreements that were recently signed in China,” Wale said.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Wale has described the Prime Minister’s statement when arriving in China that ‘he is back home’ as outrageous.

A video posted on twitter has showed that upon arrival in Beijing, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare told Chinese government officials ‘I am back home’.

The video has triggered a lot of criticisms as to the real intention behind the Prime Minister’s statement.

The Opposition Leader said it was shocking to hear such statement from the Solomon Islands Prime Minister on foreign soil.

Wale said just recently during the 45th Independence celebrations the Prime Minister pledged to the people of this country to pursue an independent foreign policy that does not take sides in geopolitical struggle between China & U.S.

However, Wale said the statement by the Prime Minister on arrival in Beijing is a clear mockery to his recent independent speech.

“It was indeed surprising to hear this from the Prime Minister. For a Prime Minister to imply that China is his home is undiplomatic and shameful,” he said.

Wale said the Prime Minister’s statement only shows where his true heart lies.

“It is embarrassing especially for our other diplomatic friends. Such statement paints a very negative picture that we have a Prime Minister that desires one diplomatic partner over the rest for only reasons known to himself,”  Wale said.

The Opposition leader has called on the Prime Minister to clarify his ‘I am back home’ statement.

“The Prime Minister must clarify and explain to our people what he meant by his statement unless he has some genetic connections to China we are not aware of,” Wale said.

SOURCE: SBM ONLINE/SOLOMON STAR/PACNEWS