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Vice-minister defends China-Solomon Islands security pact

BEIJING – Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Xie Feng on Thursday defended the signing of the inter-governmental framework agreement on security cooperation between China and Solomon Islands as a right of two sovereign states.

He also denounced Australia's accusation against the agreement as an infringement of other countries' sovereignty and own affairs as well as international rules.

The China-Solomon Islands agreement is normal cooperation in law enforcement and security, and consistent with international law and international customary practices, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said

The China-Solomon Islands agreement is normal cooperation in law enforcement and security, and consistent with international law and international customary practices, Xie said when addressing the unveiling ceremony of the China-Pacific Island Countries (PICs) Climate Action Cooperation Center via video link.

He said the security cooperation between the two countries is open and transparent, and does not target at any third party. It proceeds in parallel with Solomon Islands' existing cooperation with other partners and regional mechanisms, and conforms to the common interests of Solomon Islands and the South Pacific region.

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Such a cooperation is fundamentally different from some countries' actions of forming exclusive cliques, engaging in underhand maneuvers, creating military blocs, triggering arms race, aggravating the risk of nuclear proliferation, provoking confrontation and leading to regional tensions, he said.

"With what right can these countries tell China and Solomon Islands what to do? With what right can Australia draw a red line for Solomon Islands and China that are thousands of miles away from it? Isn't this an infringement of other countries' sovereignty, interference in other countries' internal affairs and violation of international rules?" Xie said.

The actions of slandering, discrediting and intimidating expose those countries' obsession with colonization, brazen coercive diplomacy, and desperate attempts to control Pacific Island countries and assert their so-called "sphere of influence", he said.

"The Pacific is home to all countries of the region, not a backyard or territory of anyone; it should be a stage of international cooperation, not an arena for geopolitical games," Xie said.

ALSO READ: China-Solomon Islands security pact 'not aimed at third party'

The exchanges and cooperation between China and PICs are in line with the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and are based on equal-footed consultation and mutual benefit for common development, he said.

The vice minister said that climate change is a common challenge facing humanity, and that China understands the special challenges PICs face in addressing climate change.

The China-Pacific Island Countries Climate Action Cooperation Center is to carry out demonstration project cooperation with PICs, share the experience in and practice of green and low-carbon development, work together to respond to the challenge of climate change, and help PICs achieve sustainable development, he said.

China is ready to work with PICs, upholding the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, to keep improving the cooperation center and ensure that it will grow bigger and stronger and deliver results, he said. 

READ MORE: China: Security cooperation within nations' sovereignty