Federal Election 2022:PM steps up language over Solomon Islands deal
Posted On April 24, 2022
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has significantly stepped up his language over the Solomon Islands security deal with Beijing, declaring today he will not allow a Chinese military base on Australia’s doorstep.
Labor is continuing to blame the government for the deal Beijing signed with the Solomon Islands in the midst of the election campaign that opens the door to Chinese troops being stationed in the Pacific.
On the campaign trail today, Mr Morrison significantly stepped up his warning to the Solomon Islands not to allow a Chinese military base to be built on its soil.
“I share the same red line as the US when it comes to these issues,” he said, referencing a White House statement.
US officials warned the Solomons that if Beijing attempts to “establish a de facto permanent military presence, power-projection capabilities, or a military installation … the United States would then have significant concerns and respond accordingly.”
It is a thinly veiled threat of military intervention, and Mr Morrison says Canberra would be in lockstep with Washington.
“We won’t be having Chinese military naval bases in our region on our doorstep ,” he said.
The comments come as the government accused Labor of a “racist attack” over an ad targeting Hong Kong born Liberal MP Gladys Liu.
A Labor advert has drawn a furious response over the battle for the ultra-marginal Victorian seat of Chisholm.
It says: “What do we really know about Gladys Liu?
“She and the Liberal Party had to give back $300,000 because the donors were declared a national security risk.”
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg called the ad “a desperate, dishonest, racist attack ad by the Labor Party”.
Labor Senator Penny Wong, the shadow foreign minister, noted the fact that Liberal donations had to be returned over security concerns had been raised in parliament.
When politicians facing the public gets ugly
Mr Morrison, who was visiting Alice Springs, called the ad a “sewer tactic”.