Attempts to Disrupt China-Solomon Islands Relations Futile, Foreign Ministry's Spokesperson Says

© REUTERS / Zfm RadioSmoke rises from burning buildings in Chinatown of Solomon Islands' capital Honiara, Solomon Islands
Smoke rises from burning buildings in Chinatown of Solomon Islands' capital Honiara, Solomon Islands - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.11.2021
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Any attempts to disrupt the normal development of relations between China and the Solomon Islands are futile despite unrest over the status of diplomatic relations in the Oceania state, China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Friday.
Solomon Island's prime minister Manasseh Sogavare told ABC News on Thursday that he blames foreign powers for civil unrest in the country prompted by his move to develop relations with China. He added that a switch between diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China is the main source of the conflict, as a populous region in the country has refused to follow the capital in favoring Beijing and severing ties with Taipei.
"China is closely monitoring the latest developments in Solomon Islands. We condemn the violence that has caused serious damage and property loss and support the Solomon Islands government’s efforts to end the violence and chaos. We are confident that under the leadership of Prime Minister Sogavare, the Solomon Islands government has the capability to restore social order at an early date and stabilize the domestic situation," the spokesperson said.
He highlighted that China will take all necessary measures to protect the rights and interests of residents and institutions in the country.
People gather near Naha Police station as Solomon Islanders defied a government-imposed lockdown and protested in the capital, in Honiara, Solomon Islands, November 25, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.11.2021
Protesters in Solomon Islands Defying Lockdown Orders Amid Ongoing Unrest, Reports Say
Commenting on the severance of diplomatic ties between the Solomon Islands and Taiwan in favor of China, the spokesperson also added that "the one-China principle is a norm governing international relations and an invincible trend with overwhelming popular support."
"The establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Solomon Islands is a correct choice in keeping with the trend of the times that can stand the test of history. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, bilateral relations have come a long way with fruitful outcomes in practical cooperation in various sectors, receiving Solomon Islands people’s sincere support and endorsement," Zhao said.
He added that "the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Solomon Islands meets fundamental and long-term interests of Solomon Islands and any attempts to disrupt normal development of Beijing-Honiara relations are futile."
The Solomon Islands cut ties with Taiwan in 2019 in lieu of diplomatic relations with China. The Solomon Islands in a joint communique have recognized the "one-China" principle, stating that Taiwan is an integral part of China. China opened an embassy in Honiara in 2020.
The civil unrest in the Solomon Islands started on Wednesday with disturbance in Honiara and demands for Sogavare's resignation. The government of Malaita Province in the Solomon Islands opposed the decision of the country's central government to develop ties with China instead of Taiwan. The Solomon Islands requested the Australian government to assist in tackling the unrest.
Protestors gather outside the parliament building in Honiara, Solomon Islands, November 24, 2021, in this screen grab obtained by Reuters, from a social media video - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.11.2021
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Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the departure of 40 soldiers to the Solomon Islands on Friday, where the government has imposed a nighttime curfew after three days of riots and looting in the capital, Honiara.
"On November 26, approximately 40 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel from Army’s 3rd Brigade, 6th Brigade and 17th Brigade will depart Townsville for Honiara," Morrison said in a statement.
Morrison stated that ADF would also deploy a navy vessel to the Solomon Islands to support the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force with maritime security. In addition, ADF aircraft would also depart Canberra on November 26 with additional Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials and AFP members.
"The AFP [Australian Federal Police] and ADF elements will support the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force in helping to stabilise the situation," the minister stated.
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