August 15, 2022 | The Australian

Sogavare staging a coup with Chinese characteristics

August 15, 2022 | The Australian

Sogavare staging a coup with Chinese characteristics

Excerpt

Last week dignitaries, including US ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy, gathered for a dawn ceremony on Bloody Ridge in Solomon Islands to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the start of the brutal battle for Guadalcanal.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare didn’t bother turning up to the commemoration. But US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman attended. She said afterwards that she “really felt sorry” for Sogavare, as it was a “missed opportunity” for the Prime Minister to reflect on how the Japanese were turned back during a key moment in WWII.

Sogavare was in fact busy putting forward a bill to postpone the scheduled 2023 elections. His excuse for postponing is the island country hosting next year’s Pacific Games and they don’t have the budget for both the games and an election. The proposed delay is very unpopular and will stir unrest with possible violence. Alarm bells should be going off in Canberra. The situation is dangerous.

Cleo Paskal is senior fellow for the Indo-Pacific at the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies. Anthony Bergin is a senior fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Follow Cleo on Twitter @CleoPaskal. FDD is a Washington, DC-based, non-partisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

Read in The Australian

Issues:

China Indo-Pacific