Taiwan's assistance in training the Solomon Islands police force is based on mutual cooperation agreements reached during the first Taiwan-Pacific Allies Summit held last September, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.
The ministry made the remarks in response to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday which said that 12 Solomon Islands police officers had been sent to Taiwan for special training.
The article said that Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had criticized the Australian government for interfering in the nation's internal affairs after he refused to continue to be guarded by armed Australian officers.
All police officers on the islands were disarmed in 2003 when Australia led a regional intervention force to restore order after years of ethnic violence.
Of the 314 police officers from the Pacific region deployed in the Solomons, 230 are Australian, the Australian newspaper said.
Ministry Spokesman David Wang (
Taiwan's help in maintaining social order and safety in the Solomon Islands was one part of the plan that was reached in the Palau Declaration signed during the first Taiwan-Pacific Allies Summit on Sept. 4 last year when President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) attended the summit along with seven of the nation's oceanic allies, Wang said.
According to the fourth article of the declaration, it was agreed to enhance cooperation in many fields and the first area was "law enforcement training."
It noted that "additional or expanded programs were needed to detect and prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism, international trafficking of persons, illegal border crossings and customs irregularities.
"Cooperation shall be coordinated to improve the practical training of each country's law enforcement or other relevant personnel and administration, relating both to land and sea," it said.
"This training [of the Solomons police force] is based on the goal of maintaining social order and preventing terrorism. We are by no means interfering in any country's domestic affairs," Wang said.
Wang also said that the ministry would request its representative in Australia correct "inaccurate reporting," he added.
Wang had no comment on whether the Australian government had pressured Taiwan to drop a firearms component from the training course, which was also mentioned in the Herald's report.
TENSE SITUATION: If the storm does not bring rain, Taiwan might have to wait until next month amid water scarcity in the center and south, an expert said Typhoon Surigae is to bring rain to the nation’s east coast and mountainous areas in central and southern Taiwan from Wednesday to Friday, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. As of 2pm yesterday, the typhoon’s center was 1,170km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), Taiwan’s southernmost tip. The radius of the storm was 280km, and it was moving northwest at 9kph, with a maximum wind speed of 198kph. The bureau forecasts that the storm would switch to a northerly direction when approaching the east coast of Luzon Island in the Philippines on Wednesday, CWB forecaster Lin Ding-yi (林定宜) said, adding that Surigae would
INTERNATIONAL WEED DAY: Advocates are to hold a demonstration to push for the decriminalization of marijuana and allowing its use for treatment of certain conditions It is time for Taiwanese society to examine the medical benefits of cannabis, in line with the international trend to lift restrictions on and decriminalize the use of marijuana, two legislators said yesterday, ahead of tomorrow’s “Rally for Equal Rights for Cannabis” in Taipei. Taiwan is one of a few countries holding a “420 International Weed Day” event — which usually takes place around the April 20 weekend — as most nations have canceled it this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said organizer Green Sensation, which is composed of doctors, lawyers and entertainers, among others. The group released a
SEEKING CLARITY: Some members of the US delegation asked KMT legislators in a meeting to address their party’s position on the so-called ‘1992 consensus,’ sources said A US delegation tasked by US President Joe Biden to reaffirm the country’s commitment to its partnership with Taiwan yesterday wrapped up a three-day visit to Taipei. Former US senator Chris Dodd, former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg, and US Department of State Office of Taiwan Coordination Director Dan Biers departed at 11:20am on a private jet. The members of the delegation, all friends of Biden, arrived on Wednesday and met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and other government officials. During the three-day visit, the delegation also met with six members of the Legislative
‘AN EXCUSE’: The intent of Beijing’s incursions was ‘intimidation and coercion,’ a senior US official said, adding that China was using the US to justify its actions Chinese carrier drills and stepped-up incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the past few weeks are meant to send a message to Washington to stand down and back off, security sources in Taipei said. The increased activity — which China, unusually, described as “combat drills” on Wednesday — has raised alarm in both Taipei and Washington, although security officials do not see it as a sign of an imminent attack. Rather, at least some of the exercises are practicing “access denial” maneuvers to prevent foreign forces from coming to Taipei’s defense in a war, one official familiar with Taiwan’s security