lørdag 26. mars 2022

A security agreement between China and Solomon Islands could impact stability in the whole Pacific

leaked draft security agreement being negotiated between China and Solomon Islands could have security implications for the whole Pacific. The draft document sets out a broad framework covering Chinese “police, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement and armed forces” deployments to Solomon Islands. The agreement also allows China, with the consent of Solomon Islands, to make ship visits, provide logistical support and have stopovers and transition in Solomon Islands.

All Pacific countries have a stake in protecting the stability and security of the region. Pacific Islands Forum members, including Australia, agreed in the 2018 Boe Declaration to address regional security challenges collectively. A bilateral agreement such as the one proposed between China and Solomon Islands undermines that sentiment and shows a limited appreciation for security of the region as a whole by whomever was the leaked draft’s initial author.