Protestors on the Solomon Islands defied a government-imposed lockdown and set fire to buildings in the capital Honiara.
Locals attempted to burn down Parliament as they demonstrated against increasing CCP influence on the sovereign Pacific nation.
Much of the outrage is in response to the Solomon Islands government’s decision to cut ties with Taiwan and establish formal diplomatic relations with China.
To curtail the unrest, the Solomon Islands government requested assistance from Australia.
The Australian government deployed over 100 police and military personnel as “peacekeeping troops.”
Australia’s decision to intervene was interpreted as their support for CCP interests.
Around 70 ADF personnel have arrived in Solomon Islands tonight via @AusAirForce C-17A. A C-130J Hercules also delivered additional Australian government officials and federal police. Together they will support the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force in stabilising recent unrest. pic.twitter.com/esjORcexEB
— Joint Operations Command (@hqjoc) November 26, 2021
Australian Federal Police, Specialist Response Group officer stand in the Honiara China Town, Solomon Islands, 26th of November, 2021. pic.twitter.com/n1i67XlgYd
— julio / Caronte (@jmscaronte) November 26, 2021
Honiara protests/violence were predictable, see below. Rejection by central gov reps of reconciliation process just the last spark.
Would be ill-advised for Australia to do Beijing's heavy-lifting & intervene on behalf of a heavily compromised pro-PRC PM.https://t.co/vCW6jIQyW5
— Cleo Paskal (@CleoPaskal) November 25, 2021
— Gordon G. Chang (@GordonGChang) November 26, 2021
Below is some of the chaotic footage from the riots:
Breaking: Solomon Islanders defied COVID lockdown to burn down Parliament in demonstration against increasing Chinese influence.
Australia has sent “peacekeeping troops” to Solomon Islands—a sovereign country—in a show of support for the CCP’s interests.pic.twitter.com/p9PzEzSWVH
— Michael P Senger (@MichaelPSenger) November 25, 2021
Australian 'peacekeeping' troops to be sent to Solomon Islands after locals broke lockdown curfew to burn down Parliament and attack Chinese owned business.
They are demonstrating against increasing Chinese influence on the islands. pic.twitter.com/59PawwQWUg
— UNN (@UnityNewsNet) November 25, 2021
Uprising against Chinese invasion: People of #SolomonIslands have burnt down their national parliament after Govt sever ties with Taiwan in favour of China.
Australia sending peace keeping forces to control situation pic.twitter.com/uPUAvh0ppQ
— MeghUpdates🚨™ (@MeghBulletin) November 25, 2021
Australian soldiers are on their way to the crisis-hit Solomon Islands as the third day of violence and looting spread across the capital.
— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) November 26, 2021
🇸🇧 Australia is sending troops to the Solomon Islands after violent protests broke out in the capital of Honiara, with some buildings set on fire.
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) November 25, 2021
Our heart bleeds for our children and our beautiful country 🇸🇧
God save our Solomon Islands 🇸🇧 pic.twitter.com/E52OhjzJDa
— Gloria Hong (@Gloria_P_Hong) November 24, 2021
🎥🇸🇧For the second day, protesters on the Solomon Islands have clashed with police while demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
Demonstrators were met with tear gas and rubber bullets after they stormed the national parliament in the capital,Honiara, pic.twitter.com/a1ohmAtPW6
— Flaco (@frankadak01) November 25, 2021
🚨 – BREAKING NEWS
Solomon Islands lockdown rioters set fire to govt building
Australian security forces have been deployed to help contain violent protests in the Solomon Islands, where angry citizens have allegedly set fire to govt buildings during a second day of riots. pic.twitter.com/3PvrYuuVyz
— Richard van Leeuwen (@RichardvanLeeu6) November 25, 2021
Solomon Islands PM blamed unnamed foreign countries for stoking violent protests that ravaged the capital Honiara — calling it a response to the country's decision to embrace China over Taiwan: https://t.co/rgXVQT7nUt pic.twitter.com/tatrGQ92Ln
— DW News (@dwnews) November 26, 2021
Australian peacekeepers restore order to the Solomon Islands after three days of anti-China riots https://t.co/xd7Tf7oXFn
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) November 26, 2021
Here's what's behind the violent protests in the #SolomonIslands capital, Honiara
— Indo-Pacific News – Watching the CCP-China Threat (@IndoPac_Info) November 26, 2021
Amidst the chaos, a building adorned with Taiwanese flags was left untouched by protestors:
Many buildings in Chinatown in Honiara, Solomon Islands🇸🇧 have been burned down and are now being looted, but a building festooned with the flag of Taiwan🇹🇼 is left untouched. https://t.co/XNOgvClCzH
— Professor Anne-Marie Brady (@Anne_MarieBrady) November 26, 2021
A building in Chinatown in the Solomon Islands is flying the Taiwanese flag. When the demonstrators set fire to Chinatown, the building was still intact. China, you really angered them. pic.twitter.com/0zp2ILoh1p
— 𝕰𝖒𝖒𝖆𝕳🇹🇼🇺🇸 (@12emma30) November 26, 2021
MSN explained the China-Taiwan link to the protests:
Demonstrators from the country’s most populous island, Malaita, had traveled to the capital in a spillover of anger about a host of domestic issues including unrealized infrastructure promises, media reported. They demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
As well as anger about a lack of development, the Solomons government has faced pressure over a 2019 decision to cut ties with Taiwan and establish a formal relationship with China.
The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) said between 2,000 and 3,000 protesters took to the streets on Thursday, with some setting fire to buildings and looting stores in the eastern part of Honiara. Thirty six people have been arrested, they added.
Protests broke out on Wednesday evening as parliament resumed over the Prime Minister’s lack of response to a citizen petition filed in August, which included demands for the government to respect the rights of self-determination of the Malaita people, to limit ties with China and to resume development projects in Malaita.
abc.net.au shared these details:
At the centre of a deepening rift between the central government and Malaita Province — the most populous island in the Solomon Islands archipelago — is, somewhat surprisingly, foreign policy.
Solomon Islands had previously been among only a handful of countries with diplomatic ties to Taipei rather than Beijing — a significant proportion of which are in the South Pacific.
But in September 2019, Mr Sogavare established formal diplomatic ties with China.
The ABC reported at the time that some $US500 million ($730 million) worth of financial aid had been promised by Beijing to the Solomons — one of the Pacific’s poorest nations — in exchange for the move.
This led to Taiwan terminating its diplomatic relations with Solomon Islands after 36 years.
“We sincerely regret and strongly condemn the [Solomon Islands] government’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with China,” Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said at the time.
Malaita Province Premier Daniel Suidani has been outspoken in his opposition of the national government’s decision to switch to China, and South Pacific geopolitical researcher Ed Cavanough said there was evidence that a relationship between the province and Taiwan remained in some form.
Taiwan provided COVID-19 assistance such as personal protective equipment and food aid to Malaita, which Mr Cavanough said was in contravention of national law in Solomon Islands.