BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The security cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands is aboveboard, legitimate, lawful and beyond reproach, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Thursday, urging Australia to stop distorting facts.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks during a daily press briefing in response to the so-called "concerns" by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison about the security cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands.
The security cooperation is based on mutual respect and equal consultation, and is conducive to promoting social stability and lasting peace in the Solomon Islands and serves the common interests of the South Pacific region, Zhao said.
Zhao also posed some crucial questions to the Australian side.
"Australia referred to the Solomon Islands as its own 'backyard' and tried to draw a 'red line' on China-Solomon Islands security cooperation. What will you call this if not coercion? Australia tried all means to obstruct the exercise of sovereign rights and independent cooperation with other countries by the government of the Solomon Islands. What will you call this if not interference?" Zhao said.
"Australia carried out shady maneuver with countries outside the region to put together a military bloc, which increased nuclear proliferation risks. What will you call these if not moves to hype up regional tensions and seek hegemony in the region?" he added.
"The sovereignty of Solomon Islands matters," Zhao said, urging certain Australian politicians to stop distorting facts. ■