China, Solomon Islands see security cooperation progress
Global Times

Demonstration of Joint Police Training between China and the Solomon Islands Photo: China Police Liaison Team

Demonstration of Joint Police Training between China and the Solomon Islands Photo: China Police Liaison Team

China and the Solomon Islands have seen achievements in their security cooperation. A demonstration of joint police training was held on Friday, with the local police force of the island country showcasing their new skills acquired from the Chinese police officers.

The demonstration, which lasted more than three hours at Rove, Solomon Islands, showed training outcomes including response to "public disorder such as riots, criminal attacks in the public and on VIP guests," using replica guns and martial arts skills, according to Solomon Business Magazine.

"I feel safer," Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said after seeing the demonstration, which was also attended by Chinese Ambassador to the Solomon Islands Li Ming.

The joint police training kicked off on March 14, according to the Chinese Embassy to the Solomon Islands.

China and the Solomon Islands inked a bilateral security cooperation framework agreement on March 30, the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed the following day. The two countries established diplomatic ties in September 2019.

"I was surprised to see such a great effect after a short training period," Li Ze, secretary of the Solomon Islands Chinese Association who also attended the Friday activity, told the Global Times. "I heard Chinese police officers said that the Solomon Island policemen were eager to learn."

Li said that Australia also conducted police training, but it was not very effective. "Now we Chinese here have gained more sense of security. Our association is setting up a contact center between the police and residents."

Riots that took place in Solomon Islands' capital, Honiara, last November caused losses for Chinese nationals in the city, most of whom are retailers, as their shops were smashed, burned and looted and their personal safety was put in jeopardy.

Cooperation on police affairs came after the riots. In December 2021, and January and February 2022, along with virus prevention supplies, China also sent police supplies and equipment to the Solomon Islands. A Chinese police advisory group was also sent to the island country on January 26.

At the Friday demonstration, Sogavare mentioned the riots. "As a sovereign country, this is not acceptable. We cannot continue to allow our sovereignty and democracy to be held to ransom with violence by a few people," local media quoted him as saying.