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Solomon Islands

US-China Rivalry Riles Tiny Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands will continue its security pact and economic ties with China after the election of Jeremiah Manele as the country’s new prime minister.   Manele, a former foreign minister in Manasseh Sogavare’s outgoing government, needed the support of independent MPs to form a government after his Unity and Responsibility (OUR) Party surprised many by losing its outright majority. It took 15 seats in the April 17 election, down from 37 at the last election. Western pundits have cast the new leader as a less “divisive” figure than his “pro-China” predecessor, but many see Manele facing the same difficulties as Sogavare, with the U.S. and its sub-imperial, regional allies squaring up to Beijing to try to contain its rising power.

No To A New Monroe Doctrine In The Pacific

The Anglo ruling classes have gone into a state of frenzy over a recently-signed security agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the Solomon Islands. Various people who had barely heard of the Solomon Islands just a few weeks ago are now expressing grave concern that this small sovereign nation could be used as a pawn by an aggressive and expansionist China in its bid for world domination. The deal itself appears to be entirely ordinary, allowing for China to “make ship visits to, carry out logistical replenishment in, and have stopover and transition in the Solomon Islands,” in addition to providing the Solomon Islands police with training and – on invitation – support.

US And Pacific Allies Panic Over Solomon Islands-China Security Deal

The United States and its Pacific allies have sounded alarm bells over a security cooperation deal signed between Solomon Islands and China, with threats directed at China. On Sunday, April 24, the Chinese embassy in Solomon Islands hit back at the comments made by the US delegation that visited the Pacific nation last week, calling it a “blatant threat.” The Chinese embassy’s spokesperson stated that the comments “again exposed the hegemony mindset and bullying behavior,” reported Global Times. The spokesperson also added that “any attempt to stir up trouble, tension and opposition in Pacific island countries doesn’t conform to the common interest of regional states and won’t work.”

Solomon Islands: A Risky Move Out From Under Western Control

The Solomon Islands are in the process of cementing into place a security pact with China. According to an alleged leaked draft, this pact includes provisions allowing the Solomon Islands to request the presence of Chinese police and military personnel to “assist in maintaining social order, protecting people’s lives and property, providing humanitarian assistance, carrying out disaster response, or providing assistance on other tasks” agreed upon by the Solomon Islands and China. There also appear to be provisions for Chinese ships to visit ports among the Solomon Islands to carry out logistical replenishment as well as provisions for Chinese forces to “protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects” in the Solomon Islands – with the consent of the Solomon Islands’ government.
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