Anti-China Leader Ousted In Solomon Islands, ABC Reports| MENAFN.COM

Friday, 24 March 2023 01:31 GMT

Anti-China Leader Ousted In Solomon Islands, ABC Reports

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Bloomberg

Solomon Islands: One of the highest profile anti-China leaders in the Solomon Islands was ousted in a no-confidence motion on Tuesday, the latest blow to critics of the Pacific nation's increasingly close relationship with Beijing.

Daniel Suidani, premier of the Solomon Islands' most populous province Malaita, lost a vote in the provincial assembly on Tuesday, removing him from the position, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

The ABC said 17 members of the assembly voted to remove Suidani, who didn't attend the proceedings.

In the wake of the vote, the ABC reported tear gas had been fired at protesters in the city of Auki in Malaita province. The Solomon Islands police force said in a statement on Monday that they were 'monitoring the situation” in the lead-up to the no confidence vote.

Suidani has long been a critic of the decision by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in 2019 to switch the Solomon Islands' diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. Even after the switch, Suidani maintained unofficial diplomatic relations with Taipei and pushed for independence for Malaita.

The Solomon Islands drew international attention in early 2022 when it announced it had signed a security pact with the Chinese government, a diplomatic coup for Beijing which has sought to expand its influence in the region.

Although no final version of the agreement has been released, an earlier draft which was leaked to the media would allow the Chinese military to harbor naval vessels in the Solomon Islands.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular press conference in Beijing on Tuesday that she was not aware of Suidani losing the vote. 'I believe it is an internal affair of the Solomon Islands, and I don't see any necessity to link it with the relationship between China and other countries,” she said.


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