NZ not convinced Chinese security unit is needed in Solomons

Source: 1News

China is sending anti-riot police to the Solomon Islands, a move that could reignite political protest and fuel regional tension.

When anger over the Government's shift to China sparked deadly violence last month, the Prime Minister requested help.

An international peacekeeping effort, including 70 Kiwis has helped prevent further unrest.

The Chinese police unit on its way is small but it's feared more could follow.

In a statement, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs said "we are not convinced a deployment of Chinese personnel is needed in the current context".

MFAT says they respect this is a sovereign decision for Solomon Islands whether to accept the Chinese offer of a deployment.

"At the same time, we are mindful of the long-standing approach of Pacific Islands Forum members in supporting each other’s security needs."

The Solomon Islands government has asked Pacific partners to extend deployment in support of Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.

MFAT say they are considering it and an announcement can be expected in the following days.

It's believed the Solomon Islands government is the first in the pacific to accept this level of help from Beijing.