Morrison failure complete as PLA “strongarm” troops to Solomons

As the Morrison Government has sat on its arse for eight months knowing this was coming, we are watching the formation of China’s Pacific Axis in real-time:

The Solomon Islands opposition says Chinese security personnel could soon outnumber Australian peacekeepers in the country, warning that Prime Minister ­Manasseh Sogavare is likely to ­install a “strongarm” force to ­cement his hold on power.

Prominent Solomon Islands opposition MP Peter Kenilorea Jnr said Mr Sogavare’s “insane, unhinged” claim this week that Australia had threatened to invade the country had set the scene for the rapid deployment of ­Chinese “boots on the ground”.

…Mr Kenilorea said the comments, and Mr Sogavare’s suggestion that Australia had failed to arrive soon enough to quell last year’s violent protests in Honiara, were aimed at undermining Australia’s long-term security partnership with Solomon Islands.

“His design is obviously to minimise Australia’s role here and promote China’s role, to overtake, literally, the partnership we have had with Australia including the (security) treaty,” he told The ­Australian.

“The idea that he is putting forward is ‘We asked Australia, but they took time to arrive and Chinatown was already gone’. For me that implies there will be (Chinese) boots on the ground before things actually happen.”

Australia currently has 120 Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police in Honiara, where they will remain until late 2023 to help local police to maintain order.

But Mr Kenilorea said Mr Sogavare would need Chinese security personnel on the ground if he pushed ahead with his proposed delay to national elections, from May next year until some time in 2024.

“The idea of delaying the election is so unpopular here, but if the majority of the government still wants to do that, it will need some strongarm support to ensure this will carry without any other disturbances or unrest,” he said.

The Solomons are on the verge of becoming a Chinese mini-me autocracy. Once Chinese troops are on the ground, it becomes a whole new ballgame. Doing anything to the Sogavare regime triggers the need for more Chinese troops and effectively going to war with China.

This is the extent of the Morrison Pacific failure laid bare. We have known about this since August last year yet the truth was buried and nothing was done thanks to Morrison’s usual policy unprocess: bury the truth, do nothing, panic and deflect responsibility at the last minute.

And here we are – outsmarted, outflanked, outplayed- literally policing the rollout of our own demise.

Washington is not going to escalate unless or until a Chinese naval base takes any meaningful shape. Canberra is a roo in the headlights.

In the meantime, Beijing has a free hand to militarise our own backyard against us without so much as firing a shot.

Perhaps we should try kicking a footy at the PLA:

Papua New Guinea has launched a bid to join the NRL as the competition’s 18th team in the next broadcast cycle, receiving the backing of the country’s prime minister.

As the NRL awaits the introduction of the Dolphins as the 17th team next year, Papua New Guinea has put its hand up for the licence of the 18th club.

Rugby league powerbrokers want to make the NRL an 18-team competition at some point in the future, but it’s hard to envisage that happening before the upcoming broadcast agreement ends after the 2027 season.

The day has come when the failure of Australian national interest leadership has cost us dearly.

Houses and Holes
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  1. Vaxxed & Infectious

    SI is a sovereign nation. Australia has not given a stuff about them to his point, there is no shared culture, not to mention they are thousands of kilometres away. They are free to make their own decisions even if that means making an agreement with Australia’s largest trading partner.

    • Sovereignty straw man.

      No one is completely free to make decisions without considering their neighbours and potential consequences – this has never, and will never be the case.

      Sovereign nations are free to be sovereign to a degree; some choices are justifiable, and some are not.

      • Oh, you mean like the consideration NATO made in the last twenty years pushing up to Russias borders?
        I’m not for Chinese military presence in the SI, but I can’t help but think Western hypocrisy at this point is really starting to reek.
        Plenty of other countries around the world are taking notice.

    • Australia, ie in this case Morrison had the choice of being good neighbours with the Pacific Islands but chose to arrogantly ignore them. He’s too important to be bothered with such trivial people, same as at home where he doesn’t give a monkeys nick nack about half the population. It can’t be an issue of cost as they have happily spent $3million per refugee to keep them imprisoned on some of these offshore islands.( but then again, that $3m per person goes into important cronies tax free pockets)

  2. Hill Billy 55MEMBER

    On the NRL front, its fitting that our toothless Prime Minister supports a similarly toothless Sharks. No bite, no Brains, ALL BLUSTER!

    • Footy sportswashingMEMBER

      Didnt you hear, He doesn’t hold the football.

      Joining in a PNG football team would be great for international relations. Perhaps the Sharks could relocate to Port Moresby.

  3. Why just blame the LNP? I blame every single person out there who voted this party in for their own narrow minded, selfish, greedy reasons. You know who you all are and you are all culpable! Sleep well at night knowing you have betrayed today’s youth and future generations of Australians. Shame.

    • Exactly! He’ll get Chinese into the country, say he’ll delay her elections, people will riot, he’ll declare a state of emergency, get more Chinese troops and there will never be another election, just handing rule to his family members. The SI parliament need to oust him now (Vote of no confidence? Acting as a foreign agent?) before it goes any further

  4. Jumping jack flash

    The next move of course is to send more of our “Australian peacekeepers” to SI where they will likely encounter the “Chinese strongarms” and then that should be enough to trigger something, escalating it sufficiently, and of course it leading to “severe sanctions” on China, which apparently the US has been preparing for.

    And we all wanted to play with the latest military gear, we may soon have our chance. No nukes though, “we don’t want to start WW3.” Probably limited to anti tank, anti ship, and anti aircraft gear: Stingers, MANPADS, Harpoons, Javelins, that kind of stuff.

    This is all kind of starting to sound a little familiar. But I am a conspiracy theorist, so there’s that.

    But of course this scenario is heavily dependent on [prevailing agendas, and] how much finesse, grace and strategic ability our glorious elected leaders – whoever we may end up with from that fine bunch we can choose from – have with these kinds of super-sensitive situations that potentially affect millions of people. Let’s all hope they can handle it a bit better than COVID, which, luckily for them, ended up curing itself.

    • “Probably limited to anti tank, anti ship, and anti aircraft gear: Stingers, MANPADS, Harpoons, Javelins, that kind of stuff”

      That’s not the latest mate. That’s 5th gen. The Pentagon has depleted its stock and given it to Ukraine so they put in a request to congress to arm with the 6gth gen stuff: drones.

      • Wrong equipmentMEMBER

        Meanwhile Australia spends its money on 3G World War 2 equipment –
        tanks (ie now shown as 100 million each dollar target practice for Javelins), 50 year away submarine plans (target practice for drone submarines by then)

        and cancels the drone program.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      Yes ….if who ever wins the election is up to it one could see a little bit of tough love being applied to the SI ……the Americans will of course stay in the background unless China gets a bit too stroppy

      …..this will now be a bleeding sore for straya and amputation might be the only cure …….

        • Yes, they will spend any amount of money as gaining control of SCS and extending it across the indo pacific is part of the plan to once again become the central kingdom (and central was never a reference to geography but to political & military power)

  5. Its time to ask the US to park a carrier near SI and our troops to drop in.

    It’s our stuff up, we have to do the dirty work.

    We could have bombed them if we had F-111’s but we don’t.

  6. add to that those infrastructure (airstrips etc) “for commercial reasons” that china is helping them out with. Mates in fiji tell me that they already tendering to do the concrete

  7. I don’t know what the ethno-political play in the Pacific Islands are (e.g.Micronesia v Melanesia v Polynesia), but I can see island nations being played off against each other as a hedge against hegemonic control. Australia may say, OK Solomons, have it your way, but we and the USA will provide a larger “peace-keeping” presence in PNG, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa and our mates the French will double down in New Caledonia. To the North, Micronesia is effectively in bed with the US. As such, the Solomon Islands are encircled and if logical would need to start now.

  8. DreadnotMEMBER

    A power grab by emasculation of the election could be Sogavare’s ultimate aim. But a CCP armed force contingent in Honiara will not prevent an insurrection in Malaita (122,000 pop. 2x any of the other more populous islands), Western Province or even Guadalcanal. Solomon Islanders are not urban Chinese. They have their own subsistence base and can act independently for years. Remember the Bougainvillea Republic Army in 1988 in PNG and the achievement of the current status of Bougainville as an autonomous region in PNG.

  9. Ailart SuaMEMBER

    “The Solomon Islands opposition says Chinese security personnel could soon outnumber Australian peacekeepers in the country, warning that Prime Minister ­Manasseh Sogavare is likely to ­install a “strongarm” force to ­cement his hold on power.”

    Unfortunately, when politics become entangled in the narrative, truth goes missing. I no longer watch, listen to or read MSM. Cancelled all my subscriptions over 12 months ago.

    The only way I’d believe anything regarding China and the Solomon Islands, would be if I was over there speaking to the citizens. Definitely not the politicians or their media. The world is awash from pole-to-pole with gastric bool-sheet.

  10. kierans777MEMBER

    The day has come when the failure of Australian national interest leadership has cost us dearly.

    BuT, BuT, bUT LaBoR. Albo doesn’t know his 6 point plan so off you go son.

    The MSM are pathetically captured and complicit. They lied in 2019, and they’re shilling for the LNP again, just like predicted.

  11. Jevons ghostMEMBER

    For Goodness sake, can this talk about invading or bombing the Solomon Islands. They’ve never done us any harm. I visited Honiara several times for healthcare-related work up to about 10 years ago, and observed then that their ministry of health had its fair share of well-meaning pen-pushers, many of whom seemed unable to address in any practical fashion the extremely serious public health and chronic non-communicable disease-related issues that plague the Solomons. I think that one of the reasons for this was mis-allocation of precious resources. A bit like a shrunken-down version of what we have seen for donkey’s years in the health arena here in Australia. They did have a Health Promotion unit back then but this was woefully understaffed and totally underfunded. Whereas it should have been one of the best funded and directed units in the Solomons. They did have a most knowledgeable, effective and empathetic Secretary of the Department of Health for a time after I was no longer visiting, but he had to leave his post due to illness. A great loss to his country.

    Back in 2015 Australia claimed to provide a quarter of the yearly Solomon Island health budget of $400 million Solomon Island dollars. At an exchange rate of roughly 6 SI dollars to one AUD back then that turns out to be the rather trivial sum of about 17 million Australian dollars. Sure, some extra monies since COVID but the monies allocated to background health support don’t appear to have changed significantly if the yearly DFAT reports are anything to go by.

    So we in Australia must become truly serious about assisting our Pacific Island neighbours to help them better address the manifold healthcare issues that they face. I’ve attached a link to a previous comment on the same general theme that I made back in April which covers in more detail some of the ways of doing this in a more effective fashion.

    • You’re right, but even improving al that drastically in the short-term may not be enough to stop the Chinese military presence in SI.

      So, whilst you might be quite right in a number of sense, you could also be quite wrong in others that still count majorly…

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