Island Sun (Honiara)
THE BUSINESSMEN FROM MAINLAND CHINA had not expected to be officially welcomed so warmly on their recent visit to Honiara given that the Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China do not have diplomatic relations.
Indeed, the Solomon Islands has diplomatic relations with China’s arch rival Taiwan.
But to its surprise the three-man delegation was given VIP treatment when it arrived in Honiara last August, during an encounter that has just been revealed.
Doing the honours was none other than deputy prime minister Manasseh Maelanga along with other ministers and senior officials.
Mr Maelanga also hosted a dinner at which delegation leader Joe Wong was officially appointed Solomon Islands’ Commerce and Investment Commissioner for China, Hong Kong, Macau and Asia.
A huge red banner featuring the China’s national colours announced the appointment in both English and Chinese.
Mr Maelanga gave a speech in which he encouraged closer cooperation between Solomon Islands and China.
Island Sun believes it is important that the people of Solomon Islands know what is happening behind the scenes, particularly the decision by the government to openly host a delegation from China.