The Office of the Leader of the Independent Group has described as inaccurate a statement by consultant in the Office of the Prime Minister that the main reason for the diplomatic switch to China was to create leverage with our traditional partners.
This is a blatant misrepresentation of our foreign policy, the Group said in a statement today.
The PMO consultant Samson Viulu had claimed “we were achieving the objective of creating leverage at a level never seen before.”
But the Independent Office said Viulu’s comments lacked diplomatic decency, given the DCGA’s official line during the switch.
“The reason for the switch according to PM’s explanation back then in 2019, was to give recognition to the “One-China Policy”, which is well nested in the Solomon Islands “friends to all, and enemies to none” foreign policy.”
The Office said, while it is true that there is renewed interest in the country, Mr. Viulu failed to provide any prognosis of how this new relationship could be managed, given the divisive nature of the switch.
“If this is the case, then how could you be advising DCGA on a matter that is causing so much unease in the country?”
The Office of the Leader of Independent understands bilateral relations to be based on mutuality and respect. Therefore bilateral diplomacy plays a very important role in that regard. Recognizing differences and taking timely action to minimize potential problems are crucial.
“Mr. Viulu’s statement seems to point towards some sinister intention behind the switch to China. If so then it is very disgraceful and the government owes an apology to China as well as to our traditional bilateral friends.
“When a political appointee doesn’t tow the government line, he must be ready to face the axe.”
The Independent Office explained that Solomon Islands was never ignored by traditional friends as claimed by Viulu because they were the ones who brought in Christianity, the former Protectorate and eventual Independence, including our political and financial systems.
“They shed their tears, sweat and blood for our freedom, they even assisted us to stand alone on Independence, but we only failed ourselves.”
The statement said Mr. Viulu’s comments goes only to show that he knows very little about international relations and should quit making public statements on the subject.
“International diplomacy is about creating cooperation on matters of mutual interest, finding common ground and managing differences and not seeking attention through careless undiplomatic talk as Viulu had done. Viulu should know better, that democracies around the world share common ideals and aspirations and when they see our country drifting away from these ideals into authoritarianism or anarchy, there would be timely, swift and legitimate reactions to ensure that the proclamations so fundamentally enshrined in our national constitution are protected,” the statement stated.
The Independent Office believes getting major economies into the country on an equal footing is the way forward and that enhancing the multi-polarity of our sub-region, is a far better option in practice than the friends to all and enemies to none foreign policy of the government.
On that note, the Independent Office calls on advisors in OPMC to assist the government with care and integrity, and not to add fuel to current hot issues as the one raised by Viulu.