The Deputy Leader of the Opposition group Peter Kenilorea Jnr. welcomes the efforts by the Prime Minister and the Government to set up a bipartisan committee to look into the question of whether to shift allegiance from Taiwan to China.
“I am not sure whether this was a knee jerk reaction caused by pressure, or a move founded on well-grounded policy ideologies but given the differing views on the subject, it is a starting point for the government setting clear directions on how the matter needs to be tackled moving forward,” said the Deputy Leader.
The Deputy Leader added; “in the final analysis the decision to switch or maintain the status quo on the issue of China/Taiwan is an issue for a sovereign nation like Solomon Islands to determine.”
This comes following the recent announcement by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on the establishment of a bi-partisan task force to look into the matter of switching diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China.
The Deputy leader stressed “the review of any foreign policy on diplomatic relations is a serious matter.
“There are conventions and practice in place for such deliberations that impact the relations between countries.
“Matters of national interest and importance to our people are at play.
“As such any decision to potentially sever diplomatic ties with any country should not be taken lightly.
“All relevant considerations should be taken with the interest of the nation and its people at heart.
“Politics and any promise of personal gain or interest should not be at the forefront of any such consideration.
“In that regard too and as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee, my committee looks forward to receiving the findings of the bipartisan task force after they have completed their work.
“I can assure the Prime Minister that my committee will ensure that no stones are left unturned when this matter comes before my committee;” said the Deputy leader.
He added whatever government plans are, it is important that the interests of the people of this country are upheld at all times.
Noting the mention by the Prime Minister of the involvement of the Opposition group, the Deputy leader said “It is unfortunate that no prior formal consultations were made to this office for this bipartisan effort.
“As the alternative government, we do have our own perspectives on the subject and the approaches that could be taken.
“Hence it would have been proper and courteous if our office was properly briefed and given time to discuss the matter before the committee was set up,” he said.
Reports suggest that the Official Opposition has two of its Members in the bipartisan committee.
– Opposition Press