lørdag 26. mars 2022

Solomon Islands confirms China security draft, alarming Australia

Solomon Islands has confirmed it is drafting a security deal with China - a move that's triggered alarm in neighbouring Australia and other Western allies in the Indo-Pacific. Leaked papers indicate a Chinese military base could potentially be set up on the island to Australia's north. That's sparked concern from Australia, long the chief defence partner and biggest aid donor to the tiny island. Both Australia and New Zealand said it had raised concerns with Honiara.

Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she respected the Pacific island's right to make sovereign decisions but: "We would be particularly concerned by any actions that undermine the stability and security of our region, including the establishment of a permanent presence such as a military base."

New Zealand said it was also concerned as the plan threatened to "destabilise the current institutions and arrangements that have long underpinned the Pacific region's security."