By EDDIE OSIFELO
CHINESE Foreign Minister and State Councilor, Wang Yi has defended the controversial security cooperation framework agreement signed with Solomon Islands on April 14.
This came after Western media claimed based on the leaked draft agreement that allows China to send military personnel and warships to restore law and order in Solomon Islands and may likely to establish a military base.
Both countries signed the security agreement following the riot and burning of properties owned by Chinese community and other Solomon Islanders in Honiara last November that costs millions of dollars to the government.
Wang Yi told a joint press conference with his Solomon Islands counterpart, Jeremiah Manele in Honiara yesterday that China first fully respects the sovereignty of Solomon Islands from the provisions of police supplies assistance to advisory trainings to signing of the security cooperation framework agreement.
“Our cooperation has always been based on the needs of Solomon Islands and on the preconditions of consent by Solomon Islands.
“Our cooperation is also based on consultations on equal footings and enforce deals interference on internal affairs or undermining other country’s interests are never part of China’s foreign policy. Even less, it is how we Chinese people do things,” he said.
Furthermore, Wang Yi said the agreement helps Solomon Islands maintain social stability.
He said China Solomon Islands security cooperation include other requests of Solomon Islands, assist the country in maintaining social order in accordance with law, protect people’s live and security of properties including humanitarian assistance and natural disaster response.
“The purpose of such cooperation is to help Solomon Islands build greater capacity with the police force and address the security governance deficit to help Solomon Islands maintain stability in this country and achieve long term security.
“China, Solomon Islands security cooperation is about honesty and integrity, it is not imposed on anyone nor it targeted any third party and no intention to establish military base,” he added.
Moreover, Wang Yi said such cooperation coexists with other regional arrangements
He said China supports enhancing security cooperation with Pacific Island Countries in join hands to tackle security challenges in this region.
“We also support cooperation arrangements with the existing security arrangements in the region.
“At the same time, the China -Solomon Islands security cooperation shares the aligned objectives and interests with the existing arrangements in the region and serve the common interests of Solomon Islands under the whole South Pacific region,” he added.
“Let me emphasis here, Pacific Islands countries are all sovereign independent countries and not the backyard of anyone.
“All the Pacific Islands countries are entitled to make their own choice instead of be mere followers of others,” he added.
Wang Yi said any smears and attack on any normal security cooperation between China and Solomon Islands are about the good and any such destructions will not get anywhere.