The law voted on provides for more than just vaccine passports. It also expands financial support for citizens and businesses affected by the pandemic, a provision that may have won over some reluctant voters.
External pressures were a “very big … influence. I don’t want to name names. We’ll leave it there,” Sogavare told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
China, meanwhile, expressed concern about recent attacks on some Chinese citizens and institutions, without providing details.
Honiara’s Chinatown has reportedly been hard hit by arsonists and looters.
Local media reported that many of the protesters were from Malaita, whose premier, Daniel Suidani, has been at odds with Sogavare, whom he accuses of being too close to Beijing.
Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani told Reuters the United States would develop a port and supporting infrastructure at Bina Harbour, on the west of the island.
He said the province did not recognize the change in ties to Beijing, and he wanted the United States and its regional allies, including Australia, to push back against any unauthorized development or fishing in its waters.
The province has emerged as an important ally to Washington as the rest of the archipelago starts to work more closely with Beijing.