China inks security pact with Solomon Islands despite warning

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Australia said that China has intentions to build a naval base in the Solomon Islands to intimidate the continent….reports Asian Lite News

China and the Solomon Islands have signed a framework agreement on security cooperation, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.

“As approved by the governments of China and Solomon Islands, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele, on behalf of the governments of China and Solomon Islands respectively, officially signed the inter-governmental framework agreement on security cooperation between the two countries the other day,” Wang told a briefing, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The agreement seeks to enhance “social stability and long-term tranquility in the Solomon Islands,” he said, stressing that China-Solomon Islands security cooperation is not targeted at any third country, serving the common interests of the South Pacific region.

“The two sides will conduct cooperation in such areas as maintenance of social order, protection of the safety of people’s lives and property, humanitarian assistance and natural disaster response, in an effort to help Solomon Islands strengthen capacity building in safeguarding its own security,” Wang added, as per Xinhua.

On Monday, the Unites States raised concerns over a draft China-Solomon Islands security accord, with US State Department spokesman Ned Price pointing to “the broad nature of the security agreement,” which may enable China to deploy its military forces in the country. The agreement, he said, could stir up instability in the Solomon Islands and “set a concerning precedent for the wider Pacific Island region.”

Meanwhile, as high-level US officials begin their visit to the Solomon Islands, Chinese media said this visit to the South Pacific archipelago is an attempt to nullify the already signed security pact.

“After Australia failed to sway the Solomon Islands to thwart the security agreement with China, senior US officials plan to travel to the country this week in an attempt to nullify the already signed security pact, which will be a rare high-level visit with pressure by the superpower,” the Chinese state media outlet Global Times said in a report.

Australia said that China has intentions to build a naval base in the Solomon Islands to intimidate the continent.

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