Australian news, and some related international items

Hysteria over the Solomon Islands-China security pact

Independent Australia, By Binoy Kampmark | 28 April 2022, Visits to Honiara are part plea, part threat. Delegations are equipped with a note of harassment. 

That was the initial Australian effort to convince the Solomon Islands that the decision to make a security pact with Beijing was simply not appropriate in the lotus land of Washington’s “Pacific empire”. ………………

Having not convinced Honiara to change course, a range of reactions are being registered. David Llewellyn-Smith, former owner of the Asia Pacific foreign affairs journal The Diplomat, took leave of his senses by suggesting that a Chinese naval base in the Solomons would see ‘the effective end of our sovereignty and democracy’. 

In a spray of hysteria, he suggested that this was ‘Australia’s Cuban missile crisis’.

The Labor Opposition, desperate to win office on 21 May, are calling this one of the greatest intelligence failures since World War II, which perhaps shows their somewhat tenuous command of history.  Their leader, Anthony Albanese, seeking some safe mooring in a campaign that has lacked lustre, was particularly strident.

It was a chance to show that Labor was not shaky or wobbly on national security. 

…………..This belligerent, simple note might have been stronger were it not for the fact that his deputy, Richard Marles, had previously made the unpopular suggestion that the Pacific islands were somehow sovereign entities who needed to be treated as such while China, in providing development assistance to them, should be “welcome” in offering it. …………………….

With Australia failing to change minds, the paladins of the U.S. imperium prepared to badger and bore Honiara. On the list: President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan; Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink; and National Security Affairs Indo-Pacific chief Kurt Campbell. It seemed like an absurd gathering of heft for a small Pacific Island state.

The theme was unmistakable. A bullying tone was struck in a message from National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson, who seemed to forget the Solomons was not some ramshackle protectorate of the Five Eyes. 

Officials from the US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia had ‘shared concerns about [the] proposed security framework between the Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its serious risks to a free and open Indo-Pacific’.…………………………….

As for the Solomon Islands itself, divided, fragmented and vulnerable to internal dissent and disagreement, Sogavare is unrepentant

He has already told his country’s Parliament that there is no intention “to ask China to build a military base in Solomon Islands”.  He felt “insulted” by such suggestions and felt that there was only one side to pick: “our national security interest”…………………,16302


April 28, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international

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