Solomon Islands-China security pact: Concern about a potential military base in the South-Pacific


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Solomon Islands-China security pact: Concern about a potential military base in the South-Pacific



The Solomon Islands on Friday defended plans to sign a security deal with Beijing that could allow China to boost its military presence in the South Pacific island nation. A document, leaked on social media, revealed details of the pact, raising alarm bells in Australia, amid concerns China could try to establish a military base on the islands.

The document says the Solomon Islands may “request China to send police, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement and armed forces.” It said Beijing could also send ships for stopovers and to replenish supplies. The draft also allows China to have the final say on any public information released about the new pact. The leak is believed to be part of wider security arrangements after the Solomons on Thursday agreed on a policing cooperation pact with China following anti-government protests in November that turned into riots. A Solomon Islands official told Reuters news agency that the agreement would be sent to the cabinet for consideration.

Australia and New Zealand have for decades seen the Pacific islands as their “backyard” and any security pact with Beijing is a threat to their position in the region. Washington and Canberra have long been concerned about the potential for China to build a naval base in the South Pacific, allowing its navy to project power far beyond East Asia. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia and New Zealand were part of the “Pacific family” and had a history of providing security support and responding to crises. “There are others who may seek to pretend to influence and may seek to get some sort of hold in the region and we are very conscious of that,” he told reporters. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told ABC Radio the proposed pact was “one of the most significant security developments that we have seen in decades and it’s one that is adverse to Australia’s national security interests.” Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said any move to establish a Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands would be concerning. “We want peace and stability in the region. We don’t want unsettling influences and we don’t want pressure and coercion that we are seeing from China,” Dutton told Channel Nine TV. New Zealand said Friday it would raise the issue with both the Solomon Islands and China. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Friday called on relevant parties to look at the security pact “objectively and calmly and not over-interpret it.”

About the security arrangement with Beijing, the Solomon Islands government said in a statement it was “diversifying the country’s security partnership including with China.” It added that “broadening partnerships is needed to improve the quality of lives of our people and address soft and hard security threats facing the country.” The government said the security arrangement with Australia, signed in 2017, would be unaffected.

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  1. Australian needs a missile defense system to stop 300hundrend thousand ballistic missiles hitting Australia by 100 China shop fire away at Australia at same time and so .r defense system by Australia won't be able to stop them all so Australia Governmebt has to build short range and.ling range nuclear Hyperson msslles . Immediately to purchase these from United states of America from white House

  2. Solomon as a soveriegn country has the right choose who to sign a security pact with, right DW ? Here you are batting so hard for EU, US & NATO to emphasize this point for Ukraine. How come you're not doing the same here for Solomon ? And instead you choose to emphasize here the importance of the security concerns of settler-colonial states like Aust & NZ. Doesn't Russia has this very same concern in the present Russia-Ukraine conflict which you dismissed as unfounded. Where is your consistency, DW ?

  3. Perhaps Australia is not as reliable as it was int the past, now that it is an USA puppet. On the other side, there was a strange operation that trie to burn Chinatown down when Salomon Islands recognized PRC as China (completly normal). It seems that My belowed Germany is becomi8ng more and more an US puppet too…

  4. Funny USA n western countries can built military base all over the world destroy native people China make deal USA n western countries cry foul these hypocrites countries colonize islanders for 100 of years do nothing for native people keep them as slave

  5. Little Islanders must always listen to white ex-cons! White ex-cons who hv no problems with another white genocidal regime which has 800 military bases strangling d world.

  6. Timor Leste will be next on China's agenda, it makes sense when many countries including Australia turned there backs on them and treated them with disdain.

  7. Hypocritical bunch. And I feel bad for this Indian reporter, DW always throw these hypocritical news comments to this lad. And let the comment section spit to him.