China eyeing land in the South Pacific creates 'considerable unease' in Australia, professor says

China eyeing land in the South Pacific creates 'considerable unease' in Australia, professor says

Posted by : Frank Short Posted on : 27-Aug-2022
China eyeing land in the South Pacific creates considerable unease in Australia professor says

27 August 2022

Teny Sahakian

 The headline to this story has already been denounced by the Solomon Islands Government has being untrue, but such untruthful reporting persists and little wonder the SIG has reacted strongly to similar false accusations from Australian sources and so called academics in the field of international security and intelligence studies

Before quoting the full article. I would simply comment that the Solomon Islands was just as strategically important to Australian national security interests in 1999 but then Australia refused any help to me or the then incumbent Prime Minister in putting down the beginning of civil conflict that all have come to term the “Tensions” but ultimately after the fateful Bali bombing incidents, in which 88 Australian tourists to Bali lost their lives, to put it simply the penny dropped and RAMSI came into being costing the Australia tax payers many millions of dollars until 2013.

Australia simply ignored the factual and true intelligence advice I gave to the security agency in Canberra in mid 1999 and went on to merely monitor the worsening security situation that developed from the time of my leaving the SI. A serious mistake in my judgment, and very interestingly I saw today posted by the ABC an interview I gave to the Pacific Beat presenter, Bruce Hill, on how the “Tensions” could have been avoided if only Australia had followed and auctioned by advice. 

If proof of what I have mentioned is needed then turning two of my published books, both on Amazon Kindle bookshelf, ‘A Clash of Cultures’ and ‘Cometh the Hour, will give ample evidence of what I deem to have been Australia’s failure to act decisively to prevent the tragedy that unfolded for the people and the Government of the Solomon Islands.

Turning now to today’s news article, I quote it in full.

There is "considerable unease" in Australia as a Chinese company looks to purchase strategically located land off the Island nation's coast, an Australian professor told Fox News.

A Chinese state-owned company is in negotiations to purchase a forestry plantation in the Solomon Islands with a deep-water port and a World War II airstrip, according to the Associated Press. The land is situated in the South Pacific a little over 1,000 miles from Australia's coast.

"This is unsettling on a number of levels," said John Blaxland, an Australian National University professor of international security and intelligence studies. "These islands, if occupied and controlled by an enemy, would be able to isolate Australia from North America.

China signed a bilateral security pact with the Solomon Islands in the Spring, part of Beijing's increasing activity in the South Pacific. The agreement highlighted "the risk of China seeking to interfere within our region," Australia's then-prime minister, Scott Morrison, said.

 The deal states that the Solomon Islands can call on China to send "police, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement" to the country for various reasons, including "maintaining social order" and "protecting people’s lives and property."

Blaxland said he fears that China has effectively co-opted the Solomon Islands' government.

"There is considerable unease in Australia about what's happening," he told Fox News. "There is an overwhelming spike in the level of concern about China's adversarial ambitions and its intentions."

China's "show of force in and around Taiwan" after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit earlier has only reinforced Australians' fear of Beijing's ambitions in the South Pacific, Blaxland added.

Rather than placating China, Blaxland said the superpower's aggressive diplomacy has encouraged Australia to strengthen its defense capabilities.

"The shift in mood in Australia is largely, I would contend, a response to China's actions," Blaxland, a former Australian army officer, told Fox News.

The relationship between China and Australia has deteriorated in recent years. The Australian government called for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, and China, in retaliation, imposed tariffs and other restrictions.

China still remains Australia's principal trading partner, according to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Source – ABC and Yahoo News

End of quote.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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