-PM Sogavare assures nation of DCGA’s good intentions with its approach to China-Taiwan issue
-PM downplays Opposition Leader’s media claims
PRIME Minister Sogavare has spoken out against criticisms by the Opposition on the way it is handling the China-Taiwan issue, refuting claims of being dodgy and having dubious intentions.
He assures that government is being careful, responsible and transparent in its approach to the China-Taiwan issue and how Solomon Islands will get the best deal unscathed.
“There is no intention by the Government and indeed we are not dodging the concerns of the public on this very important policy matter as alleged by the Opposition Leader,” the Prime Minister stated.
The Government is putting in place a mechanism to ensure “our people fully participate in the process of arriving at a decision on this matter and so no one including politicians should be jumping the gun that might undermine the process.
“I would therefore encourage the public and the concern citizens of this country to fully utilise the participation mechanisms to express themselves. Let us not allow emotions to take the best of us in this process,” he said.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said Government would welcome and indeed encourage factual contributions and not one that is driven by emotions, hearsay and false dear that is driven by and emanating from the ongoing competition for global dominance by the economic powers of the world which is driven more by their desire for global dominance.
“We would become innocent victims of these power struggles and continue to be in the doldrums of a stagnant economy amidst plenty.
“It is in this regards that the government would like to approach this matter strategically so that we do not leave any stones unturned,” he stated.
He also denies suggestions that the delegation of Ministers to Beijing was to seal a decision to switch.
“That is not true, and I want to assure the people of Solomon Islands that the Government is committed to a process approved by Cabinet to properly assess the pros and cons of this policy intention before any decision is made. We are yet to receive the reports of the Task-Force,” he reiterated.
Sogavare also refutes “misleading, barrages of defamatory insinuations” that the members of the government bench are driven by the desire for pecuniary gain in the pursuance of the policy intention.
“There is nothing more far from the truth,” he stated.
He furthers that Solomon Islands must be able to place itself strategically in a fast changing world to benefit from the economic gains made.
He adds, the question to be asked in this endeavour is if Solomon Islands and 17 other countries are losing out by isolating from recognising the UN Resolution 2758 of 1971 on the question of Taiwan and China.
He emphasises that the answer can only be determined by a proper analysis of its pros and cons.
“That is precisely what the government is doing. The truth about the debt trap phobia must be established. The influence of communism and atheism as advanced by some observers must be probed in the countries that have relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
“The truth about the influence of controlled religious freedom must be understood properly by our Christian organisations. The ability of the country to cope with an overbearing economic power must be properly analysed in line with the experiences of developing countries in the region,” he reiterated.
He stated that these and many more are issues that the country must have answers to before making any decisions.
The deployment of various government teams to neighbouring Pacific Island countries and Beijing is in keeping with the Government’s commitment not to leave any stones unturned on the matter.
“The government is doing this for the benefit of the people of Solomon Islands who are rightly concern about a range of negativities that is alleged to characterise China’s diplomatic relations with the vulnerable developing economies in the Africa, Asia and the Pacific regions,” said the Prime Minister.
On the question of transparency, the Prime Minister said, “There is a vast difference between transparency and careless exposure of raw information that should not be released to the public on matters that are sensitive.
“We are running a responsible government and we intend to act responsibly on this matter.”
He adds that what needs to be appreciated is that there are information that are best for the consumption of the government and its agents for guiding its policy decisions on the matter.
“It is simply ludicrous and totally absurd for the Opposition Leader to insist on the government to release every information it collects and the intentions of its perceived actions, disregarding their sensitivity.
“That is not being responsible. There is a point where gaping government must stop and responsible governance steps in. There is a vast difference,” the Prime Minister said.
Sogavare also highlights the importance to understand that the information collected by various delegations is for the purpose of assisting the government to arrive at an informed decision and stating that at this point of time the information would be too raw for public consumption.
He also questions the Opposition Leader’s motive behind his recent media statements.
“I believe he (Opposition Leader) needs to be clear about what his motives are, and most importantly his stance on this matter,” he stated.
“Had the Opposition Leader read the government’s 100-Days Policy document, it is clearly stated that under its programme the Government will review the Solomon Islands Global posture by implementing its ‘friend to all, enemy to none’ policy of which aims for a Comprehensive Assessment on the China question.”
The Prime Minister has further tasked the 15 Ministers who independently stated their Pro-Taiwan stance prior to formal deliberation by Caucus and Cabinet, to answer the claims made by the Opposition Leader.