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China Signs Security Deal With Solomon Islands, Australia & US Express Concern

Australia's Opposition called the deal the "worst failure of Australian foreign policy in the Pacific" in 80 years.

Published
World
1 min read
China Signs Security Deal With Solomon Islands, Australia & US Express Concern
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China announced on Tuesday, 19 April, that it had signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands, something that has sparked fear and concerns that China may seek to build a naval base in the nation.

China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said that the agreement aims at "social stability and long-term tranquility in the Solomon Islands", is not targeted at any third country, and serves only 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 reported by Xinhua.

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The US had already raised concerns over a draft of the security accord, with State Department spokesman Ned Price pointing to the possibility that China deploys its military forces in the country.

Additionally, the Solomon Islands had rejected last minutes efforts by Australia to stop the deal, which is pertinent given that the latter is the former's largest aid donor.

Australia's Opposition called the deal the "worst failure of Australian foreign policy in the Pacific" in 80 years.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, also said that her government was "saddened" about the China-Solomon Islands pact.

(With inputs from Xinhua and BBC)

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