3.9k Share this
A senior federal government minister has suggested China deliberately timed its controversial security agreement with the Solomon Islands to coincide with Australia’s federal election.
The deal, which was signed last week, could see China establish a military presence in the South Pacific island nation.

Speaking on Brisbane radio station 4BC this morning, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews implied the timing of the pact amounted to “political interference” from Beijing.

Karen Andrews implied the timing of China’s security deal with the Solomon Islands amounted to “political interference” from Beijing. (Nine)

“I think the one thing we should be at least taking notice of and paying attention to is the timing of the announcement from deals in relation to Solomon Islands,” she said.

“(Beijing) is clearly very aware we are in a federal election campaign at the moment.

“Why now? Why right in the middle of a federal government election campaign is all this coming to light?

“We talk about political interference and that can take many forms.”

When politicians facing the public gets ugly

The comments were quickly criticised by Labor. Shadow Defence Minister Brendan O’Connor said the statement showed Ms Andrews is out of her depth, saying her claims were “conspiratorial fantasy”.

“Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews is so out of depth in her security portfolio she’s embarking on flights of conspiratorial fantasy,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The Government won’t accept they have presided over one of the worst policy failures in the Pacific since World War II.”

A draft of the Solomons and China pact, which was leaked online last week and is believed to be very close to the final, signed version of the agreement, said Chinese warships could stop in the Solomons and China could send police and armed forces there “to assist in maintaining social order”.

Ms Andrews claimed it was “likely” that China would deploy troops to the Solomon Islands in the next year.

“I think it’s very likely that they will proceed down that path,” Ms Andrews said.

“It’s likely that will be the path China will be taking in the Pacific region.”

Source: 9News

3.9k Share this
You May Also Like

PM says – unlike Rishi Sunak – he WON’T benefit from cost-of-living handouts despite multiple homes

‘My arrangements are different’: PM says – unlike Rishi – he WON’T…

Surviving children describe what happened inside school

WARNING: Some readers may find elements of this story graphic and distressing.…

Donald Trump to Hold Rally with Harriet Hageman to Oust Liz Cheney

Surging congressional candidate Harriet Hageman will hold a rally with former President…

‘We Have a Public Health Crisis’ With Gun Violence

On Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “All In,” House Gun Violence Prevention Task…

Light festival returns after two years of COVID-19 cancellations

Sydney is lighting up tonight during the Vivid festival, which has returned…

Australian aid worker killed during Russian invasion of Ukraine

An Australian humanitarian worker has been killed in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.…

The Platinum Jubilee Weekend: Your guide to how the Queen’s historic celebrations will play out 

As Her Majesty The Queen celebrates an unprecedented 70 years on the…

‘People Want to Put My Baby in the Microwave’

Actress Amber Heard claimed on Thursday — during actor Johnny Depp’s defamation…