PNG will not jeopardize traditional relations

Foreign Affairs Minister Justin Tkatchenko has clarified that Papua New Guinea will not jeopardize or compromise relations with its traditional security partners.

Minister Tkatchenko’s statement follows recent concerns about a ‘Security Deal’ supposedly struck between China and Papua New Guinea.

Tkatchenko stressed that China remains one of Papua New Guinea’s biggest economic and trade partner and that Papua New Guinea will continue to work in partnership with China in that space.

Minister Tkatchenko maintains that Papua New Guinea has always respected the ‘One China Policy’ since 1975, and will continue to do so. 

"We have a long-standing and genuine relationship with China, where we can agree to disagree." 

"China and Papua New Guinea have other existing agreements and Memorandums of Understanding for Implementation. 

"Additionally there are other bilateral propositions that are at assessment and negotiation phases and are yet to be ratified and approved, as Papua New Guinea has existing agreements with other countries. 

"China has offered to assist in the policing sector - in training and for the supply of equipment to our internal security sector.”

Tkatchenko says this offer is being carefully assessed, as the government does not want to duplicate or compromise agreements already in place with PNG’s traditional security partners like Australi and the United States of America. 

“It is not going to be the end of the world if we do not come to an understanding or agreement with China. Our relationship is one of great respect and maturity. We are mature enough to know where we stand on different matters.”

"The priority for the Marape-Rosso Government now, is to implement security agreements with Australia and the United States, that have already been signed, for the long-term security benefit of Papua New Guinea, and the Indo-Pacific Region," Minister Tkatchenko reiterated.

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