Washington’s fears were finally realized after Beijing confirmed the signing of a broad security agreement with Solomon Islands In the Pacific Ocean today, Tuesday, Western governments fear that the agreement may provide the Chinese military a foothold there.
These islands have recently turned into an arena of competition between Washington and Beijing, but what do we know about them and why is this important to America and its allies?
China’s security and military deployment
We start with the security agreement signed today, which may allow the Chinese Navy to dock warships on the islands, which made the United States and its allies in Australia and New Zealand in a diplomatic race to stop it.
The agreement stipulates, according to a draft that was leaked to the Internet last month, on measures that would allow a Chinese security and military deployment on the troubled island in the South Pacific, according to the Axios website.
It also included a proposal that “China may, according to its needs and with the consent of the Solomon Islands, conduct visits to ships, carry out logistics operations, and stop and transit in the Solomon Islands.”
According to the draft, the Solomon Islands could also ask the Chinese security forces to establish “social order.”
Beijing will also have the authority to “protect the safety of Chinese employees and major projects” once they reach the islands.
The island was relatively calm before it became an arena for competition between Beijing and Washington, which decided to send a high-level delegation from the White House and the State Department this week to the Solomon Islands.
While US officials, led by the White House Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, Kurt Campbell, and the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, Daniel Krettenbrink, were supposed to try to change the Solomon Islands’ prime minister’s opinion on the agreement.
It is noteworthy that the islands announced in March that “officials from the Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China have initialed the terms of a bilateral security cooperation framework between the two countries.”
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavari review a guard of honor during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (dad)
It is noteworthy that the US concern has escalated since the islands switched their allegiance from Taiwan to China in 2019, to increase the distance with the leakage of a draft security agreement that gives Beijing a foothold in the Pacific Ocean close to Australia and New Zealand.
The Solomon Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific with a population of less than 700,000 people, in addition to the islands of Fiji, Vanuata and Papua New Guinea, constitute important strategic areas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, which America and China are racing to expand and expand in, but so far these islands revolve in The American-Australian orbit.
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