After mulling an expansion of China’s military presence in the Solomon Islands, the pacific nation’s prime minister Manasseh Sogavare officially signed the security pact with Beijing last week, to the ire of Western powers.
Although details of the pact remain unclear, a previously leaked draft document unveiled by Reuters suggested that the Solomon Islands government would allow Chinese warships to dock at any ports on the island country, while Chinese police would be deployed to maintain social order.
“We intend to beef up and strengthen our police capability to deal with any future instability by properly equipping the police to take full responsibility of the country’s security responsibilities, in the hope we will never be required to invoke any of our bilateral security arrangements,” Sogavare told parliament members last week, assuring the pact is in compliance with domestic and international law.
The Solomon Islands already has similar security pacts in place with Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea; however, the move still raised concerns among Western powers, who accused China of using the deal as a gateway to build a military base on the Pacific nation. “I share the same red line that the United States has when it comes to these issues,” said Australian prime minister Scott Morrison over the weekend. We won’t be having Chinese military naval bases in our region on our doorstep.”
Beijing, for its part, assured that the pact is merely “normal exchange and cooperation between two sovereign and independent countries,” while the country’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that Australia’s speculation about the construction of a military base is completely fake news. “Rather than preaching fake information on China for personal political purposes, I suggest some Australian politicians to honestly answer the concerns of people at home and abroad,” he told reporters on Monday, as cited by the Global Times.
Information for this briefing was found via Reuters, the Global Times, and Bloomberg. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.