ABC News reported on April 12 that leaked documents revealed that the Chinese embassy in the Solomon Islands requested for arms after violent riots stormed the Solomon Islands’ capital last year.
The documents, dated December 3, came a week after protests against Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare took place in Honiara city. Rioters also attacked several Chinese-owned businesses during the November unrest.
The embassy also requested permission to organize 10 armed men to protect Chinese diplomats and diplomatic facilities. They would be armed with pistols, rifles, two machine guns, and a sniper rifle.
According to ABC News, the embassy made the bid for fear that it would become the target of future protests.
Although the note said they would only import “necessary light weapons and equipment,” the attached item listed much heavier weaponry: two machine guns, a sniper rifle, ten rifles, ten pistols, and thousands of bullets.
In another leaked memo, Collin Beck, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Honiara, answered that he had “no objection to the request.” Noting that China’s request “sadly — sets a precedent,” Beck added, “China is a special case noting public debate was and remains directed against China’s interests in the country from certain quarters of our country’s population.”
The Prime Minister’s decision to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 2019 partly sparked social unrest, together with ethnic tensions and economic frustration.
The documents were leaked by a group known as “Public Servants for Transparency,” which describes itself as Solomon Islands officials opposed to the security deal and government corruption.
The islands recently initiated a draft security pact with China on March 31.
The agreement has sparked concerns that the island would allow China to establish a military base.
According to the Guardian, an Australian government minister was scheduled to go to Honiara late Tuesday, April 12, for two days of discussions. There are growing concerns about increasing cooperation between Salomon Island and China.
In response to the Solomons’ move, Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton stated that Beijing had set up 20 military bases in the South China Sea earlier this month. The Communist Regime’s move has gone against its commitment to the U.S. that it would not militarize the region.