‘Brighter days ahead’
By ANDREW FANASIA
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare and his officials will arrive today after his historical and successful trip to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) despite the public outcry against his huge delegation.
This historical trip was made possible after Sogavare was invited by the President of the PRC’s Government Xi Jinping.
Before Sogavare left to China he said that this is a historical and significant visit as it will be the first time for a Prime Minister from Solomon Islands to travel to the People’s Republic of China under a diplomatic framework.
Like any other political commentators and critics echoed is the country now going the right direction with the latest diplomatic relation with China?
Its understood a number of memorandum of understandings (MOU) was executed between the Government of Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China during his visit.
They included agreements on education, economic and technical cooperation and foreign affairs.
But one of the breakthroughs during the official visit was the signing of the popular ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ between China and Solomon Islands Government.
According to South China Morning Post the China’s President Xi Jinping assured Sogavare and the Solomon Islands that prospects are bright.
Xi said the Solomon Islands is located on the southern extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
It was also reported that the two countries will take the opportunity of the signing of a MOU on building the Belt and Road, align their development strategies and boost cooperation to help improve the Solomon Islands people’s livelihood as well as the island country’s capability of independent and sustainable development.
Also under the Belt and Road its understood that Sogavare expressed that the Belt and Road Initiative is a great one, bringing great opportunities for the Solomon Islands.
He added that Solomon Islands will cooperate with China on trade, investment, agriculture and fishery, tourism and other sectors for a new future of the bilateral relationship.
This paper also understands that that under the signed BRI Solomon Islands will become a destination country for Chinese tourists.
In a one of Sogavare’s official meeting he also met with the President of China Railway.
South China Morning Post reported that China Railway president assured Sogavare that the company will help Honiara build facilities for the Pacific Games to be held in 2023.
This paper understands these are just some of the positive outcome Sogavare and his delegation went to discuss in China.
A press conference is set to take place at the Honiara International Airport when Sogavare and his top officials arrive today.
The delegation was in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Monday.