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Labor frontbencher Kristina Keneally has again pinned blame on China’s security deal with the Solomon Islands on Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“You are correct to point out we do face an aggressive and assertive China in the Pacific and Scott Morrison has dropped the ball, leaving a void that China has stepped in to fill,” she told Today.

“They don’t share our interests or our values.

“The plan we’re announcing today strengthens the relationship with our Pacific family in many different ways.

“What we’ve announced already this morning is just one part of a broader plan that will focus on defence partnerships, climate infrastructure, people-to-people links, economic support and overseas development aid.

“It is a whole-of-government package that seeks to strengthen our relationships, build on our natural resources with the shared values and friendship we have with the Pacific family.

“We’re never going to outspend China in the Pacific but we can deepen our strategic links and people-to-people links to ensure Australia is the first country of choice for our Pacific family.”

We’ll find out more on Labor’s plan at a media conference at 11am in Darwin (11.30am AEST), which you’ll be able to watch live in the player above.



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