Top News

In the Solomon Islands, the United States warns against any Chinese military “installation”

The United States has warned the Solomon Islands that it will retaliate “accordingly” if China establishes a “permanent military presence” in the Pacific archipelago after signing a controversial security agreement, the House of Representatives said on Friday.

The US high-level delegation, which visited the Solomons, explained to the island leaders that if Beijing proceeded to “establish a de facto permanent military presence,” it would raise “serious concerns” among the people. The United States, which will “take appropriate retaliation,” the US presidency said in a press release. This also applies to the establishment of any “military installation” or “force projection capability” that would allow Chinese deployment in the region, she said.

“No military base, no long-term presence”

The emissaries from the White House and the US State Department traveled to the Solomon Islands on Friday, where they met with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavar. While Washington wanted to persuade the archipelago not to sign an agreement with Beijing, they appear to have been taken aback by the formalization of the rapprochement on Tuesday.

“In response to the concerns raised, Prime Minister Sogavare reiterated his assurances, which specifically guarantee that there will be no military base, no long-term presence and no possibility of force projections,” the presidency explained. “The United States has emphasized that it will closely monitor developments in consultation with its regional partners. »

The US delegation also insisted on “potential implications for regional security” and questioned “the purpose, scope and transparency of the agreement” during “substantive discussions”.

Security dialogue

But the Americans also assured that they “respected the right” of Solomon to make “their sovereign decisions” and tried to seize the islands with multiple gestures toward them. Among them, accelerating the opening of the US embassy, ​​strengthening cooperation on unexploded ordnance, sending a hospital ship to help public health or supplying other vaccines. .

Both countries have also committed themselves to launching a “high-level strategic dialogue”, focusing in particular on the sensitive issue of security.