Australia’s Defense Minister Peter Dutton accuses China of bribing other countries to secure international deals.

The Defense Minister’s accusation of China comes as his conservative government faces opposition scrutiny about its failure to stop The Solomons–China’s security pact, especially as Australia heads toward a new election next month.

The deal alarmed many countries in the Pacific region, including Australia, New Zealand and the U.S., as it would allow China to send military and police personnel to the Solomons, even basing naval vessels on the islands.

In an interview with Sky News last Sunday, April 24, Defense Minister Dutton complained that the Chinese do not play by rules. He said that China has conducted corrupt payments in Africa to get deals through and that Australia can not compete with that sort of playbook.

But when asked specifically about whether he thinks China might have bribed Solomon Islands officials to facilitate the security deal, he made no comment.

However, he doubled down on his previous point: China is willing to pay bribes to beat other countries to deals. And this is Beijing’s incredibly aggressive manner of foreign interference. He called this “the reality of modern China.”

In a related move, the U.S. has warned that it would respond accordingly if the Solomons allows the Chinese to establish a permanent military base under their new agreement.

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