Solomons and China humiliate Morrison “red line”

PM Morrison is being humiliated across the Pacific today:

…“What right do these countries have to tell China what to do? What right does Australia have to draw a ‘red line’ between the Solomon Islands, which is 2000 kilometres away from it, and China, which is 5000 kilometres away? If this is not violation of other countries’ sovereignty, interference in other countries’ internal affairs and violation of international rules, what is,” Mr Xie said in a speech reported by state media.

On Friday, Mr Sogavare chimed in on China’s criticism of Australia and attacked the AUKUS treaty which he said would allow nuclear submarines in Pacific waters in what he described as a violation of the Rarotonga treaty.

“I learnt of the AUKUS treaty in the media. One would expect that as a member of the Pacific family, Solomon Islands and members of the Pacific should have been consulted to ensure this AUKUS treaty is transparent since it will affect the Pacific family by allowing nuclear submarines in Pacific waters,” he said in a speech to parliament.

…“When Australia signed up to AUKUS, we did not become theatrical and hysterical about the implications this would have for us,” he said. “We respected Australia’s decision.”

Perhaps that’s because AUKUS is designed to bolster liberalism while whatever China is doing in the Solomons sure ain’t that.

Still, they have a point. If you’re going to draw a “red line” somewhere then you better be prepared to defend it. Otherwise, all you’ve done is expose yourself to ridicule, and egged-on the enemy.

To wit, the ABC is reporting on more deals to build paramilitary infrastructure:

One of China’s largest defence and aerospace companies promised to upgrade almost three dozen airstrips in Solomon Islands as part of an ambitious plan to transform the Pacific Islands country into an “aeronautical hub” for the region.

In return, the Solomon Islands government said it would purchase six aircraft from AVIC Commercial Aircraft, a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned defence behemoth which has built small and medium-sized aeroplanes to be sold to developing countries.

The proposed exchange was laid out two-and-a-half years ago in a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which has been obtained by the ABC.

It did not go ahead, thankfully.

My sources are telling me that this is the consensus in Canberra. That any serious military expansion by China in the Solomons is too expensive and difficult to pull off.

I hope they’re right because Scott Morrison has no plan whatsoever to defend his “red line” press release.

Update: Always up for a divisive stink, Morrison has responded:

Morrison told reporters in Launceston on Friday that he had spoken to Sogavare the day after the announcement while “speaking to many leaders around the world” and that “no issues were raised at that time”.

He suggested the Solomon Islands’ new security deal with China may be behind Sogavare’s latest comments.

“There’s a remarkable similarity between those statements and those of the Chinese government,” Morrison said.

“As time goes on, and new relationships are entered into, there’s obviously been a set of, clearly, some other influences in the perspective taken by the Solomon Islands prime minister now.“

Has PM Morrison met his match in the CCP?

Houses and Holes

Comments

  1. “That any serious military expansion by China in the Solomons is too expensive and difficult to pull off.”

    LOLs, have they not heard of “loss leaders” let alone considered that CCP has no problems spending money uneconomically, especially if it’s to enable the long term aim to achieve the glorious victory over capitalism & extend their control across the region.

    • Jumping jack flash

      That’s China’s schtick.
      Look at South America and Africa. China loves spending money on “poor-ish” nations to gain strategic advantages, and the countries they exploit absolutely love it.

      In fact, Australia isn’t much of an exception to that.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      ” … too expensive and too difficult to pull off.”

      Nothing is too expensive for the Chinese when they are about to get control of Straya and its mineral and oil/gas resources for relative petty cash and certainly not difficult to pull off when Straya has been holding the SI door open for the Chinese and pointing down to the welcome mat, since at least 2015.

  2. Jumping jack flash

    “Still, they have a point. If you’re going to draw a “red line” somewhere then you better be prepared to defend it. Otherwise, all you’ve done is expose yourself to ridicule, and egged-on the enemy.”

    Agree.

    In my opinion all the empty jibing at China over the past couple of years by our great and fantastic leaders who certainly have a clue, possibly lots of them, got us into this mess.

    • Yes it shows current leadership by the political class across the political aisle is all play acting by people with no life experience beyond university or indeed any ability to see past 12 weeks into the the future.
      You don’t issue ‘red-lines’ unless you are serious about backing them up. Period.

      And yet these same leaders will continue to allow manufacturing etc etc. to be moved to China year over year, along with all sorts of other measures that make the economy less competitive.
      Eventually this class is being found out, and they don’t like it.

  3. They plot, bicker, bitch, & bitterly oppose each other every day & nothing gets done. And yet on this alone there’s Consensus in Canberra? Not even any sign variance? Just as conveniently, now it seems they’re all on the same page admitting they have self induced Impotence – well maybe except for helping their flaccid selves.

    It’s a very convenient supposition from the dung hill mob to say that it’s difficult, in unison….. But Nothing’s Impossible!

  4. I read the above and shook my head – “My sources are telling me that this is the consensus in Canberra. That any serious military expansion by China in the Solomons is too expensive and difficult to pull off.” They are morons! They clearly don’t understand

    We gave them our Antartica.

  5. It’s not as if all that south china sea machinery can’t now just be shuffled to the next island.
    Cheap labor there I hear also from a few farmers in Australia.

  6. gballardMEMBER

    We are, and will be governed by fools – it doesn’t matter what political party they hail from. I think compulsory voting and a very nice snorting trough means that they don’t have to try very hard to get elected other than ingratiate themselves with the political party that they identify with.

    When was the last time that an Australian politician knocked on your door or called you ? Not even when an Election is in the offing.