Solomon Islands confirms a security agreement with China that worries Australia


Solomon Islands has confirmed today that it is developing an agreement with China to deal with security threats in the area and to guarantee a safe environment for investment.

The pact would be an important advance for China’s penetration in a region that is seen as the “backyard” of Australia and New Zealand, US allies.

The two countries have raised concerns about the regional security impact of military cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands, after a draft of the document was leaked.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told ABC Radio that the deal is “one of the most significant security developments seen in decades and one that goes against Australia’s national security interests.”

For his part, Australia’s Defense Minister Peter Dutton has stated that any move to establish a Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands would be cause for concern.

“Expanding partnerships is necessary to improve the quality of life for our people and address the security threats facing the country,” the Solomon Islands government said in its first public comment on the matter.

The objectives of this agreement include covering humanitarian needs and maintaining the rule of law, they have declared from the Solomon Islands. To this they add that they need to rebuild their economy after the recent riots that took place last November -against the current government and the growing Chinese influence-, in addition to signing an air services pact with the Asian giant and increasing trade between both countries.

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The United States reacts to the rapprochement between China and the Solomon Islands

Since the current Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Mannaseh Sogavare, took office in 2019, he has already made clear his position of rapprochement with Beijing by announcing the cutting of diplomatic relations that he had maintained for 36 years with Taiwan.

This decision, added to other agreements to reopen the country’s gold mines and allow China to build infrastructure, have already raised alarm bells in countries like the United States, which is also seeking to consolidate its influence in the region.

Last month, the US declared its intention to open an embassy in Honiara, the capital of the islands, due to fears that China was trying to strengthen military relations there.

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