Chinese police to provide ‘management and leadership’ training to Solomon Islands officers | solomon islands


Chinese police will be invited to the Solomon Islands to provide management and leadership training to senior officers, as part of the new security agreement signed between the two countries.

Michael Aluvolomo, the inspector for the Royal Solomon Islands Police’s Transnational Crime Unit, also did not rule out bringing Chinese police into the force, saying he was from the government. to determine if this was appropriate.

“China is new to us. There are plans with our commissioner on how we can strengthen our policing. Now they are very focused on building our capacity in terms of management and leadership,” said Aluvolomo, who was speaking to The Guardian on the sidelines of the Pacific Regional Law Enforcement Conference in Fiji.

When asked if there would be Chinese law enforcement officers in the Royal Solomon Islands Police, Aluvolomo said this had not yet been confirmed, but insisted that the inhabitants of the Solomon Islands had nothing to fear.

“It is up to the government in place to accept that the Chinese police work within our local police. For the time being, there are [are] no Chinese police work with us but they come with a capacity development program,” he said.

Last month, in his first interview since signing the controversial security deal with China, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare told the Guardian that there would be no Chinese military base in his country because it would make the Solomon Islands an “enemy” and “place our country and our people as targets for possible military strikes”.

Sogavare said that while Australia remained the ‘security partner of choice’ for the Solomon Islands, he would call on China to send security personnel to the country if there was a ‘gap’ that Australia could not. not fill.

Aluvolomo said Solomon Islands residents concerned about China’s presence in the country should let the government know.

“The public should work with us and provide us with a lot of information so that we can build on that and come and create inclusive intelligence information.”

The Pacific Regional Law Enforcement Conference, currently underway in Nadi, is hosted by the Australia Pacific Security College at the Australian National University and aims to build networks to assist Pacific law enforcement to deal with drug trafficking and other transnational crimes, which are a growing problem for Pacific countries.

Although there is a regional security architecture to combat transnational crime, including through the Pacific Islands Police Chiefs, which is made up of 21 members including Australia and New Zealand, there are concerns China’s heightened focus on the Pacific does not disrupt or undermine these security measures. provisions.

In May, China presented a sweeping economic and security deal to 10 Pacific countries that would have seen stronger ties, including in policing.

The draft document on the common vision of development between China and the Pacific island countries, which was rejected by the Pacific countries, proposed to “expand cooperation in law enforcement, jointly fight against transnational crime and to establish a dialogue mechanism on law enforcement capacity and police cooperation”.

China offered to organize “middle-level and high-level police training” for Pacific island countries and urgently to “hold the first China-Pacific island countries ministerial dialogue on law enforcement capacity and police cooperation”, as well as helping to build laboratories for fingerprint testing, forensic autopsy, drugs, electronic and digital forensics.

Ewen McDonald, head of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Pacific Bureau, told the security conference on Monday that rising geopolitical tensions in the region represented a “strategic challenge” for law enforcement.

“Growing external interest in the Pacific will bring benefits but also challenges to our hard-earned interoperability, our common doctrine and our peaceful way of conducting law enforcement operations,” he said.

“At no time was there a strong, unified [Pacific Islands] Forum has been more important in addressing the threats and challenges we face together.

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