The Chinese Embassy has defended its donation to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force arguing that it has been misconstrued and urges critics not to politicize the gifts.
“My strong believe is that the Chinese outreach effort to make some donations is no difference from any other foreign missions.
“It is for the Chinese community to show their kindness towards their brothers and sisters in Solomon Islands. I think when it comes to donation efforts we hope that NGOs’ and the outside foreign individual should not to politicise these donation efforts. They should not find fault with Chinese side’s kind hearts and don’t try and look at the Chinese Embassy’s good heart with a bad eye,” Deputy Ambassador Yao Ming told SBMOnline and SIBC in an exclusive interview yesterday.
A former Commissioner of RSIPF Frank Short was the first to question the giving of gifts by the PRC to the Central Police Station officers but instead they should write a letter only to show their appreciation. Transparency Solomon Islands joined the attack – condemned and deplored the RSIPF for accepting the gifts.
But speaking to SBMOnline and SIBC, Ming said: “We were so surprised and shocked to see comments from an NGO and a foreign individual.”
He said as a matter of fact since establishing relationship just over a year a go with Solomon Islands, China is a new and reliable development partner.
Ming said: “We are committed to build official and unofficial relationship with the government and her people.”
He says one of the major roles of the Chinese Embassy is to reach out to the Solomon society in all respects.
“Everyone knows that 2020 was a challenge year for the entire world,” he says. Ming was referring to COVID-19 and its impacts on Solomon Islands and the rest of the global community.
He says on their part; they have initiated a lot of programs with the government “we have tried to implement capacity building with the ministry of health on COVID-19 testing capability.”
The Chinese diplomat states that against that backdrop just before Christmas and New Year he and his colleagues initiated reach out programmes by giving donations to the government, business houses, social reps, schools, churches as well as the RSIPF.
He claims that the donations were appreciated by those who received them.
Regarding the gift to the Central Police Station which was criticized, Ming reiterates that it was misconstrued.
Ming in his explanation states that one of the goals of his embassy is to make friends with the Solomon Islands people, government institutions and NGOs.
“Friends to all and enemy to none,” he says that in reference to Solomon Islands’ Foreign Policy with her foreign friends.
He explains that as in the case of RSIPF, they had played a critical role in maintaining law and order in the country.
“And as a foreign mission we have a Chinese community here too. Thanks to RSIPF’s good efforts they protect the security and interest of our community here. In particular, my mission.
“We owe a great deal of thanks to the RSIPF in particular when my embassy was opened last year the Central Police Station dispatched more than 40 police officers to help us maintain order and we are appreciative of their hard efforts,” he states.
Meanwhile Ming says during the festive season, the RSIPF was appealing for peaceful celebrations and it meant increased workload for them.
“It was impossible for them to take a break so they worked extra time that’s why my embassy with the Chinese community made some donations to help the Central Police Station. “Before the event I met with senior officials from the Police Commissioner’s office and briefed them about the event. It was an effort to strengthen the frontline officers and they expressed positive attitude. They welcomed it,” he explains.
According to Ming, they donated solar-power lightening devices and torch lights to help them carry out their official duties at night time.
He adds that the fact they are front-liners and the need to cope with COVID-19 they also donated 2,000 facial masks to the police officers.
“It was done in a transparent and open manner without us hiding anything from the public. During the process the police neutrality and impartiality were fully respected by the Chinese side.
“We didn’t mean to influence them. Any foreign or local citizens that breaks the law must be dealt with by the police,” he says.