Asked if he was confident in the remark about the “red line” and whether he would rule out that the United States would take military action if China established a base in the Solomon Islands, Kritenbrink said he did not want to speculate.
“We have indicated that if these events were to happen, the United States would react accordingly, and I think it is best if I leave it at that and do not wonder what it can or cannot do. [be]said Kritenbrink.
Labor announced on Tuesday that it would increase foreign aid to the Pacific by $ 525 million over four years as well as establishing a new “Pacific Engagement Visa” designed to increase permanent migration to Australia from the region.
The new visa will allow 3,000 people from the region to migrate to Australia annually, increasing the Pacific diaspora in the country.
Opposition spokeswoman for foreign affairs Penny Wong said the increase in funding would “address decades of development gains lost due to the pandemic and coalition cuts”.
“We will work with our Pacific family to support specific projects that deliver real change in areas such as health, economic growth, education, climate adaptation and resilience,” she said.
Labor has repeatedly criticized the Morrison government for not sending Secretary of State Marise Payne to the Solomon Islands, which was based on advice from the State Department to take a subtle approach to handling the deal and to further avoid antagonizing Sogavare. In place of Payne’s junior minister Zed Seselja traveled to the Pacific Nation earlier in April.
Payne said Tuesday that the government had taken a “careful and cooperative approach to these issues with respect for Solomon Islands sovereignty”.
She reiterated Morrison’s warning that China’s establishment of a military base would be a “red line”, but said “I do not think it is useful to speculate” on what Australia’s response would be.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said speculation that China would build a military base in the Solomon Islands was “pure disinformation, fabricated by a handful of people who have ulterior motives”.
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