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Current Affairs

China-Solomon islands deal

Date: 28 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

 The government of China and Solomon Islands signed a security deal. Under the pact, China can deploy security forces in the island-nation.

 

Background

The deal was signed by foreign ministers of both the countries. Apart from security forces, the Chinese Navy can be stationed on the islands.

 

Details

  • The agreement is sure to give China a foothold in Pacific, allowing Chinese Naval fleet to access hitherto inaccessible waters.

  • The US and Australia have given immediate reaction of concern by dispatching diplomats to Solomon Islands.

 

Details of the agreement

  • The agreement says that Solomon Islands may request China to send police, military personnel and other law enforcement forces to maintain social order in the country.

  • Chinese Navy may carry out ship visits, logistical replenishment, stopover and transition through Solomon Islands.

  • To protect Chinese infrastructure projects and personnel, Chinese forces may be stationed in the country.

  • The arrangements cannot be made public to third parties. It is expected to run for five years and may also be extended.

 

Response

  • Australia has expressed deep concerns about the agreement, given the proximity of the Solomon Islands to the country.

  • The US has also expressed concerns of the nature of agreement. It has said that domestic agreements will have implications on regional security.

 

Stakes for China

  • China is keen to expand its military might from its traditional region of influence, by building overseas military bases.

  • The model of Djibouti will be replicated in other places, especially Indo-Pacific, where US exerts its dominance.

  • Future plans include Karachi port in Pakistan, Equatorial Guinea in Atlantic and Cambodia near Gulf of Thailand.

 

Defence arrangements

  • China has already established a base near China-Tajikistan border to monitor threat originating from Afghanistan.

  • China had sent its own officials to monitor a blast that killed Chinese workers. Pakistan and China have been carrying out joint patrolling in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.