PM defends China trip - Solomon Star News

PM defends China trip

22 August 2019

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says a week-long trip eight of his ministers took to China last week was made with a clean motive.

He was responding to statements made by the Leader of the Opposition and members of the public recently. 

“I want to assure the nation and the Leader of the Opposition that the trip has no evil motives as it seems to be inferred,” Sogavare said.

He added the Government is united in the way forward on the matter and that decisions will be made on the China- Taiwan question when the finding of the Task- Force and other reports are placed before Cabinet.

“The Government Caucus was fully informed of the intention to deploy a second team comprising of key Ministers to Beijing at the invitation of President Li Hiaolin of the Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, an association that connects countries that have no diplomatic ties with China.

“The ministers took the opportunity to pursue and request answers on matters that are pertinent to the policy in question, that will guide the government in making its decision.

“Contrary to the wild and politically motivated allegation by the Leader of the Opposition, the Government is very transparent in the implementation of its policy intention to review the One China Policy in line with the United Nations Resolution 2758 of 1971.”

He continued:

“If it will brings any comfort to the Leader of the Opposition and the public, the government intends to be fully informed by a number of reports in making any decisions on the review as follows:

1. The Report of the Joint Task Force that will be focused on getting answers to very specific questions tasked of them by Cabinet on the implications of any decision to reconsider our stand on the One China Policy;

2. The report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Relations on its consultations with the various stakeholders and interest groups in the country;

3. The report to be produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade on strategic issues.

4. A report to be produced by the Prime Minister’s Office highlighting issues that the country must be aware of and what safeguards need to be put in place.

It is expected for all reports to be submitted to the Government within the first 100 days.

“The people of this nation will not be kept in the dark as to the reasons and justification for any decisions taken on the review,” the Prime Minister said.

On the issue of proper protocols to the ministers while in China the prime minister stated that the ministers fully understand the situation before they agreed to take the trip at the invitation of the Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFF).

The Opposition leader also claimed the bi-partisan taskforce was established to satisfy the Prime Minister’s “own political hunger to maintain numerical strength and that it has nothing to do with finding answers to the issues.

“This is pathetic and only goes to prove the real motive behind the points he is labouring in his response,” Sogavare said.

He further reiterated that contrary to the unfounded allegation levelled at the Government on the matter, the engagement of the taskforce is to establish important factual information that the government and the people of this country would like to know about.

“Not dirty politics as maybe implied by the Leader of the Opposition,” the Prime Minister stated.

– PMO Press