CANBERRA (ABC) — Solomon Islands has been in the spotlight over its security pact with China but it’s not the first country to have a security deal with Beijing.
Fiji signed a memorandum of understanding with China in 2011 but it did not receive much attention at the time.
Australian National University research fellow Dr Terence Wood said 11-years ago many people weren’t aware of the deal and it was perceived in a more rational manner.
“It wasn’t seen as electorally advantageous at the time to hype the issue,” he said.
Dr Wood said certain political pundits have driven the media coverage in Australia since a draft text of the treaty was leaked online.
“I don’t think China’s geostrategic objectives or desire as such [is] that it seriously wants to threaten Australia at anytime in the immediate future,” he said.
Dr Wood said the people of the Pacific were being being treated like squares in a geo-strategic chessboard.
“They deserve respect and they deserve constructive engagement from countries like Australia and New Zealand,” he said…. PACNEWS