China has no “no intention” to build a military base in the Solomon Islands, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said of the new security pact signed between the two countries.
Minister Wang Yi dismissed concerns from Western countries, including Australia and the United States, who fear this agreement will allow China to install a military presence in the archipelago. The pact is “impeccable, fair and honest,” he said.
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Minister Wang Yi began a tour of several countries in the South Pacific on May 26 in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, where he will discuss an important initiative to expand cooperation on security and free trade in the region. .
This draft agreement has been consulted by Agence France Presse, but the final version has not been published. The text would contain a provision authorizing the deployment of Chinese naval forces on the island, which is less than 2,000 kilometers from Australia.
Read also : Beijing clarifies agreement signed with Solomon Islands
This agreement “is not imposed on anyone, is not aimed at third parties, it is not intended at all to establish a military base,” Wang Yi told a news conference after meeting his Solomon Islands counterpart Jeremiah Manele.
AUSTRALI GOES ON THE FRONT AGAINST SINO-SALOMONAIS ALLIANCE
The former Australian government, which lost the election on May 21, warned that building a military base would ” Red line “without specifying the consequences of a crossing.
For the former Australian Home Secretary, Karen Andrews, It is “very likely” that China sends troops to the Solomon Islands† “It is likely that this will be the path China will take in the Pacific region”she said.
The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare has repeatedly said that no Chinese military base will be built in his country, but he has not released the final version of the agreement.
In March 2022, however, a leaked draft of the deal sent shockwaves through Australia and the United States as it contained proposals that would allow for Chinese police and naval deployment to the Solomons.
Also read: Australia reportedly preparing for a possible war with China
The Chinese diplomat asked some western countries not to do this ” interrupt “Where ” to disturb “the” China’s Cooperation with Pacific Islands.
“They’re nobody’s backyard. All Pacific countries have the right to make their own choice rather than just follow others.”said the foreign minister through a translator.
The security pact should help the government of the Solomon Islands maintain long-term stability and security, he said, “in light of the needs and requests of the Solomon Islands”.
STRONG LINK BETWEEN CHINA AND THE SOLOMON ISLANDS
As voices in the West oppose the new alliance, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare and China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi have expressed their willingness to forge “unshakable” ties and deepen cooperation between the two countries. .
Manasseh Sogavare said China has become the Solomon Islands’ largest cooperation partner in basic infrastructure, as well as a reliable development partneraccording to the Xinhua news agency.
The latter thanked China for providing anti-pandemic and rapid screening equipment, in addition to sending medical teams to his country. He also praised China for sending police equipment and advisers to help maintain social order in the Solomon Islands after the riots broke out in Honiara.
“The Solomon Islands and China work together on the basis of equal treatment and mutual respect, and their ties in various fields have grown ever closer and brought tangible benefits to the people of the Solomon Islands.”said the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands.
For Wang Yi, China appreciates “The Solomon Islands’ determination to defend their national interests, its strong desire to develop friendly cooperation with China and its adherence to the One China Policy.”
A determination that has resulted in the speeches of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, who has stated on several occasions that the agreement with China is in line with international standards and is intended to support law enforcement in the country.
China “to defend their national independence and sovereignty, preserve national unity and solidarity, and hasten the attainment of their national prosperity along a path chosen by the country”said the Chinese diplomat.
“China and the Solomon Islands have become good friends who trust each other and good partners who support each other, as political trust between the two countries deepens and pragmatic cooperation expands.”he said.
China is ready to work with the Solomon Islands to forge ties “unshakable” and to develop cooperation between the two sides for the benefit of the two peoplesWang Yi assured. “Emerging economies are progressing in all directions, and despite unilateral harassment, peace and development are still the irreversible trend of our time,” continued the head of Chinese diplomacy.