Japan sent a deputy foreign minister to the Solomon Islands on Monday following the official signing of a security agreement between sub-Pacific countries and China, fearing that Tokyo would undermine regional stability.
Deputy Foreign Minister Kentaro Uesugi was tasked with relaying reservations regarding the Tokyo agreement and discussing bilateral issues with Solomon’s leaders during a three-day trip to the local news agency Japan Today. report.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters on April 22, “We believe that this agreement may affect the security of the entire Asia-Pacific region, and we are worried about its progress.” Stated.
The move was on Sunday by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said that the Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands represented Australia’s “red line” and called the Solomon Islands-China security agreement a “common concern” between governments. It follows the remark.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Natano Kausea on April 23 to exchange views on recent developments in China in the Pacific island region.
“We are closely tracking what China is doing in the Pacific Islands region,” said Fumio Kishida. report. The two leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
On April 22, if the United States allowed the Solomon Islands government to set up military bases in Pacific countries under the terms of the Solomon Islands and China’s security agreement, Washington would “respond accordingly. I will do it. “
The White House said Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavale reassured him that under an agreement with China, military bases, long-term presence, or power projection capabilities would not be permitted.
“The United States has emphasized that it will closely follow progress in consultation with regional partners,” the White House said in a statement.
With the official signing of a security agreement between the Solomon Islands and China last week, Beijing will use the agreement to establish a military presence in the region and the Indo-Pacific between the United States and its allies. A warning bell rang to destabilize.
The leaked draft agreement states that Beijing has the right to send police, troops, weapons and even naval vessels to the Solomon Islands to “keep Chinese personnel and major projects safe.”
A security agreement with China could extend Beijing’s reach beyond the South China Sea to within 1,700 kilometers (1,060 miles) of Cairns, the northern city of Australia.
The strategically important Solomon Islands were the battlefield during World War II.
Japan is particularly concerned about China’s growing military presence in the East China Sea, including the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands. Beijing began claiming rights to the Senkaku Islands in the 1970s, calling the Senkaku Islands the Diayou Islands.
Daniel Y. Teng contributed to this report.