Posted by : Posted on : 18-Sep-2019

The protection of national sovereignty, rule of law, independence of the Judiciary and a free press.

The decision by the Solomon Islands government to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China, albeit still to be officially confirmed, has promoted much local and international attention this week.

Some in the Solomon Islands have commented that the decision by the government was rushed through without sufficient consideration on such a vitally important issue to the nation.

I have no wish to add to the debate but my concern is that once the recognition of China is officially announced the Chinese government will fully accept the sovereignty of the Solomon Islands and ensure whatever direct assistance is given to promote the development and infrastructure needs of the Solomon Islands Government there will be no interference with Solomon Islands “sovereignty “, the rule of law, the independence of the Judiciary and the freedom of the press.

My other observation I wish to make is that the decision to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption should not be delayed despite the likely prospect of direct aid from China in replacement of what was previously money allocated as CDF funds.

Jacob Stokes, ( a senior policy analyst in the China program at the United States Institute of Peace who previously served on the national security staff for Vice President Joe Biden and as a professional staff member for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission ) writing in the Diplomat in May this year, said, quote:

There is no doubt that China values sovereignty for itself. But Beijing’s activities around the world evince a much looser definition for what constitutes a violation of sovereignty — and sometimes outright dismissal of the notion — when it comes to other countries.

“Beijing increasingly seeks to influence its nationals living in other countries as an interest group to sway local and national politics overseas.

Projects in the Belt and Road Initiative have resulted in countries turning over control of key national assets to China.”

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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