Malaita airs concern over China switch

Concerns about the lack of consultation over Solomon Islands‘ diplomatic switch from Taiwan to China have been expressed to a government delegation visiting Malaita province.

Solomon islands flag with China flag. Photo: 123RF

Led by the deputy prime minister, Manasseh Maelanga, the delegation‘s intention was to talk about development plans for the province.

But the director of government communications, George Herming, said the Malaita provincial government was intent on talking about the implications of Chinese relations for Malaita.

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Attempts to reassure provincial officials and the public that the switch had been made with their best interests in mind were unsuccessful, Mr Herming said.

Despite the hostile reception, the delegation would continuing its work with the view that providing an opportunity for the public to voice it concerns and engage with government ministers was a positive step.

“(The delegation) is still travelling throughout the province. We sent officials to each constituency to tell the people that this is what happened, this is the way forward and this is what government is looking at,” Mr Herming said.

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