Beijing [China]April 19 (ANI): China on Tuesday defended the signing of security cooperation with Solomon Islands, saying the agreement “is not aimed at any third party.” Today, China and the Solomon Islands signed a framework agreement on security cooperation adjacent to the southern countries. Fear of the Pacific archipelago could open the door to China’s naval base in the country.
Speaking at a press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the two countries had officially signed a framework pact on security cooperation.
The co-operation is a normal exchange between the two sovereign and independent states and is an important part of their comprehensive co-operation, he said.
Wang said the pact does not contradict the existing Solomon Islands bilateral and multilateral security cooperation mechanisms, but complements them.
Earlier today, China announced an agreement in Beijing, stating that it provides for China’s cooperation with Honiara in maintaining social order, protecting human security, combating natural disasters and helping to protect national security.
Australia and New Zealand have already expressed concern about increased Chinese military activity and influence in the Indo-Pacific region, which could destabilize the region as the island could also be used as a stop for Chinese troops for tactical replenishment.
Australia has said China intends to build a naval base in the Solomon Islands to intimidate the continent.
Last week, the United States expressed concern over a security agreement between China and the Solomon Islands, saying the agreement would open the door for the deployment of Chinese military forces in the Pacific.
“We believe that signing such an agreement could actually increase destabilization in the Solomon Islands and set a disturbing precedent for the wider Pacific Islands region,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing. (ANI)