Beijing is likely to “move quickly” to Solomon Islands military action: defense experts

According to defense experts, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has “military footprints” in the Solomon Islands after Beijing has signed a controversial security agreement to open the door for troops and weapons to be stationed in the country. Act swiftly to establish.

Australian and US leaders were dragged by the emergence of a secret agreement in late March, causing a surge in diplomatic activity that forced Prime Minister Manasesogabale of the Solomon Islands to change his mind.

Peter Jennings, Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the CCP had “time to act swiftly” to take advantage of the recently finalized “security cooperation between the Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).” I will lose. “

In essence, under this agreement, the CCP, with the consent of the Solomon Islands, dispatched police, troops, weapons, and even naval vessels to “safety Chinese personnel and major Solomon Islands projects” based on the leak. You can “protect”. Document page.

“China believes in revealing the facts on the ground,” Jennings told Sky News Australia on April 20. It’s very difficult to prevent it — preferably in a bipartisan way. “

Jennings later told The Sydney Morning Herald that he expected Beijing to take advantage of Australia’s election period (until May 21) when the government was in caretaker mode.

Australia and New Zealand have long maintained a security presence in the region.

Meanwhile, the centre-left opposition Labor Party has called the signing of the security cooperation agreement “the worst foreign policy failure”, raising questions about the effectiveness of Australia’s diplomatic involvement in the region.

“The government should have acted faster. We live in a world where the strategic situation we face is more dangerous and uncertain than at any time after World War II.” Labor Party foreign spokesman Penny Wong told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on April 20.

But Jennings said it would have made little difference which party oversaw the country.

“This is not an Australian manufacturing issue,” he said. “What many agree is the creation of Prime Minister Sogavale of the Solomon Islands, which seems to have been adopted by the Chinese.”

“There is a lot of speculation around Honiara that there is a lot of Chinese money laundering around the domestic elite. I don’t think it has anything to do with the current agreement.”

Corruption has plagued the country, and US ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Erin McKee, warned against the misuse of aid funds following a fierce protest in the Chinatown district of Honiara.

“I ask you to decide for yourself what type of development and future you want for you and your family. One person, one party, one bank account. Do you need help? “She said in a statement.

The protests were the culmination of ongoing dissatisfaction with the Sogavale government over issues such as inadequate service provision, bribery and weak economic development.

“Natural resources will be removed from our islands and then our people will be poor,” said Matthew Wale, leader of the Solomon Islands opposition. “This exploitative economy does not give rise to concrete sustainable development. National wealth goes abroad through unlimited transfer pricing, supported and supported by national leaders.”

Daniel Y. Ten


Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national politics, including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and relations between Australia and China. Do you have a hint? Contact him at [email protected]