Friday, 25 May 2012 8:29 AM

Opposition Critical of Trip to China

The Opposition Leader, Dr Derek Sikua, has described the trip to the Peoples' Republic of China by a four-member delegation, headed by the Minister for Public Service, as insensitive.

The Opposition leader says the trip reflects "insensitivity by the NCRA Government towards Solomon Islands diplomatic relations with the Republic of China or Taiwan."

Derek Sikua says the Minister for Public Service, Bradley Tovosia, had traveled to China a number of times which shows total insensitivity to the country's diplomatic relations with the Republic of China.

The Opposition leader says the government should at least have an audience with the Taiwanese embassy to explain the purpose of the trip to avoid any misunderstanding.

He says the Mr. Tovosia is leading the delegation which includes the MP for Fataleka, Steve Abana, Gordon Darcy Lilo's private bodyguard, John Dominic and Chinese businessman, John Abba.

Dr Sikua questions the appropriateness for a minister of the crown to head a delegation to China stating that "any trade or investment trip should only be made at the officials' level."

Taiwan and China have been praised by other neighboring countries these past few years for making efforts to build closer economic cooperation. Such cross strait stability saw a boom in economy as Taiwan's GDP continued to expand steadily after talks began with China.

Political commentators say that now that Ma has retained the presidency, it would give him four more years to pursue more in-depth cross strait policies with China like military issues. Many say that a reduction in an arms race would benefit both economies a great deal.

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By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
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