Another island nation has a pro-China PM

The Associated Press

Honiara Solomon Islands: The Solomon Islands’ legislators have chosen Jeremiah Manele, a former foreign minister, to be their new Prime Minister.
In a secret ballot today, Mr Manele, who has promised to uphold the Pacific nation’s China-friendly foreign policy, received 31 votes, according to Al Jazeera.
This development in the Indo-Pacific comes months after Maldives – an island nation in the Indian Ocean – elected a strongly pro-China Prime Minister.
Mr Manele, speaking outside the parliament, praised the fact there was no repeat of past violence.
Notably, Mr Manele’s appointment as the country’s new Prime Minister comes after a national election last month failed to deliver a majority to any political party.
Prime Minister Sogavare, during his 5-year tenure, had built close ties with China but did not seek re-election to the top political office.
However, his party had throughout maintained a strong support for Mr Manele.
The politician was foreign minister in 2019 when the Solomon Islands turned its back on Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with Beijing, according to Al Jazeera.

NEUTRAL

Solomon Islands, Honiara:.

Former foreign minister Jeremiah Manele is the new prime minister of the Solomon Islands, appointed by their legislators.

Al Jazeera reports that Mr. Manele, who has pledged to maintain the Pacific nation’s China-friendly foreign policy, received 31 votes in today’s secret ballot.

This Indo-Pacific event occurs months after the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, elected a prime minister who is firmly in favor of China.

But Matthew Wale, the longtime leader of the opposition, received 18 votes in opposition to him.

In order to prevent possible unrest, squadrons of police patrolled the parliamentary grounds during the vote in the 50-member parliament, which was held in the capital city of Honiara.

Speaking outside the legislature, Mr. Manele praised the absence of previous acts of violence.

Notably, the appointment of Mr. Manele as the nation’s new prime minister occurs after last month’s national election failed to give any political party a majority.

Following the signing of a security agreement with China in 2022 by outgoing Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, the election was closely observed by China, the United States, and neighboring Australia due to its possible impact on regional security.

Despite having developed strong ties with China during his five years in office, Prime Minister Sogavare chose not to run for reelection to the top political position.

Nonetheless, Mr. Manele had consistently received strong support from his party. As per Al Jazeera, the politician held the position of foreign minister in 2019 when the Solomon Islands retreated from Taiwan and forging diplomatic ties with China.

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