Conflicts & War

Solomon Islands says it won’t allow China to establish military base

Sydney, Australia, Apr 1 (EFE).- The Solomon Islands said Friday it would not allow China to establish a military base under the security agreement it intends to sign with Beijing.

“Government is conscious of the security ramification of hosting a military base, and it will not be careless to allow such initiative to take place under its watch,” the office of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said in a statement.

The statement added that the country had not invited China or any other nation to establish a military base in the Solomon Islands, a historical partner of Australia.

The president also addressed concerns about the establishment of a Chinese military base in Soman Islands in a nationwide address earlier in the day.

“Let me be very clear on this point. As I stated in parliament, our partnership with the People’s Republic of China is developmental. My government and, I am sure any successive governments that believe in a sustainable future of Solomon Islands, will never allow Solomon Islands to be used for military bases or other military institutions of any foreign country or power whether now or in the future,” he said.

The statement by Sogavare’s office comes a day after Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele and the head of National Security, Anthony Veke, announced that this pact, which allows China to send its security forces to the county to maintain social order, is close to being signed.

Manele and Veke said the draft of the Framework Agreement is being refined although so far the details of this pact – considered by Australia and New Zealand, two regional powers, as a threat to peace and security and the possible “militarization” of the Pacific – are unknown.

Micronesia also asked Sogavare on Thursday to reconsider the security pact for fear that the Pacific Islands would become the “epicenter of a future confrontation between these major powers,” alluding to the United States and China, and relegate to the background the fight against climate change, which is already being felt in the Pacific countries.

In 2019, Sogavare ended 36 years of diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China, which has sparked tensions with its traditional partners and violent protests in the country. EFE


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