BY SAMIE WAIKORI
CHINA Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) will never be accepted in Malaita.
That’s the decision the provincial executive reached yesterday after CHEC was recently announced as the winning bidder to build Fiu Bridge, near provincial capital Auki.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and Communication Moses Virivolomo was in Auki last week to inform the provincial government about the winning bidder.
He reportedly told the provincial executive to come up with a decision whether to accept CHEC to build the project.
But Deputy Premier Randol Sifoni told the media yesterday while the province and its people want the Fiu bridge built quickly, it must not be done by any Chinese company.
“We want the national government to re-tender the project,” Sifoni said.
“This is so that other companies can bid,” he added.
“Our decision is CHEC or any other Chinese firms cannot be accepted to do business in Malaita, directly or indirectly.”
Sifoni said the decision was inline with the Auki Communique, and after consulting the people.
The Auki Communique, a set of resolutions produced after the country switched allegiance from Taiwan to China, explicitly stated Malaita will not deal with the Chinese government or any of its associates.
The Fiu Bridge project is a component of the World Bank funded multi-million-dollar Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP).