I seriously don’t know why this isn’t getting the air-time it deserves.
So Australia’s defence and security complex got a massive wake-up call last week when they woke up and found out that the Solomon Islands had jumped into bed with China.
It now looks like the Solomon Islands have inked a deal that potentially gives China to set up a military base… just 1500 kms from Australia.
Word is Canberra is freaked out.
The Solomon Islands said on Thursday it had inked a wide-ranging security pact with Beijing, an agreement Western allies fear will pave the way for the first Chinese military foothold in the South Pacific.
“Officials of Solomon Islands and the People's Republic of China have initialled elements of a bilateral Security Cooperation Framework between the two countries today,” said a statement from Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare's office in Honiara.
It included a proposal that “China may, according to its own needs and with the consent of the Solomon Islands, make ship visits to, carry out logistical replenishment in, and have stopover and transition in Solomon Islands”.
It would also allow armed Chinese police to deploy at the Solomon Islands' request, to maintain “social order”.
The “forces of China” would also be allowed to protect “the safety of Chinese personnel” and “major projects in the Solomon Islands”.
This might have been all well and good when we were living with the delusion that Australia and China were best friends forever.
But the idea that China could have a base in the Pacific, almost close enough to lob a grenade over and blow up Cairns, is a terrifying prospect.
China has pushed and pushed to undermine Australian democracy. They tried to buy our politicians (and they got pretty close to doing that.) And then when America asked us to pick a side, China got all uppity and started imposing all sorts of economic sanctions to try and strong-arm us in under their control.
And when all else failed, they issued a list of 14 demands, leaked via their embassy, outlining what they expected Australia to do:
That list includes muzzling our politicians and media. Read that and tell me that’s the society you want to live in.
And now, the nation trying to impose these conditions on us is talking about setting up a military base just over the ditch.
What an awful prospect.
This is one to watch.
There’s a lot of domestic opposition with the Solomons to this move. Prime Minister Sogavare’s decision to switch allegiance from Taiwan to China in 2019 was a trigger for widespread rioting.
Rioting that Aussie peacekeepers went in to help stop!
So come on Canberra, pull your finger out.
If we let this happen, we become one step closer to losing our democracy altogether.