Solomon Islands’ prime minister is denying he was bribed by Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to grant it a major internet cable contract.
The country’s opposition last week called for an investigation into a parliamentary report, cited by the Sydney Morning Herald, which noted allegations Huawei had promised Manasseh Sogavare a political donation of around $US5.2 million.
In a statement the prime minister denied receiving any form of political donation from Huawei and said the allegations reported in the media were false and lacked credibility.
Mr Sogavare challenged the media to prove it had evidence to support the allegations and to report it to the proper authorities for investigation.
He said he remained committed to delivering on a submarine cable connecting Honiara to Sydney despite Australia raising security concerns because of the Chinese company’s involvement.
“The security concerns of Australia are also the concerns of Solomon Islands and parties are exploring all options to have the matter resolved amicably,” said Manasseh Sogavare.
Prior to Australia voicing it’s concerns the ADB also pulled $US18 million in funding for the project citing a lack of transparency around Huawei’s selection.
Mr Sogavare said he was determined to see work on the submarine cable get underway in 2018.
Published at Mon, 28 Aug 2017 05:13:19 +0000