Xie Feng, vice-minister of foreign affairs. （Photo/Xinhua）
A senior Chinese diplomat has lashed out at nations including Australia over their accusations regarding security cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands, saying that such actions constituted infringements of other nations' sovereignty, interference in domestic affairs and a violation of international rules.
Xie Feng, vice-minister of foreign affairs, said at the launch ceremony of a climate action cooperation center between China and Pacific island nations that countries including Australia are not entitled to draw a "red line" between the Solomon Islands and China.
The signing of the framework agreement on security cooperation between the Chinese government and the government of the Solomon Islands represented the rights of two sovereign nations and was part of normal law enforcement and security cooperation, he said in a speech delivered via video link.
He reiterated that their cooperation does not target a third party and conforms to the common interests of the Pacific island nation and the South Pacific region.
"This is essentially and drastically different from the attempts by some countries to form small circles, conduct underhanded maneuvers, establish military blocs, spur an arms race, exacerbate the risks of nuclear proliferation, stir bloc confrontation and introduce regional tensions," he said.
Xie said the Pacific is the common home of all nations in the region and a major stage for international cooperation, rather than some nations' backyard, territory or arena for geopolitical games.
"The people of Pacific island countries and the international community are sharp-eyed, especially over which side is upholding regional peace, promoting win-win cooperation and common development, and which side is seeking hegemony, creating divides and stirring confrontation," he said.
He added that China's efforts to further ties and cooperation with Pacific island nations are not out of self-interest, and the nation will not seek a sphere of influence or resort to bullying or coercion.
China and Pacific island nations jointly launched a climate action cooperation center in Liaocheng, Shandong province, on Thursday, as the two sides boosted their efforts to jointly respond to climate change.
Xie said Beijing understands the specific challenges faced by Pacific island nations in responding to climate change, and the center was launched to promote bilateral cooperation in projects, share experience, practice low-carbon development and jointly respond to climate challenges.
Qiu Qiwen, vice-minister of ecology and environment, said at the event that China has already devoted 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million) to promote South-South cooperation in climate change, including cooperation with Samoa and Tonga.
He announced the signing of a cooperation agreement on climate action between China and Kiribati, adding that China will host online training for Pacific island nations to tackle climate change.
Tapusalaia Toomata, the ambassador of Samoa to China, said China's national strategy on climate change would provide a very good platform for cooperation and assistance for Pacific island countries in tackling climate change and advancing the region's initiatives.