China signs security pact with Solomon Islands; What it means and how it affects India?
China Solomon island deal: China-Solomon Islands security pact has been signed to enhance social stability and long-term tranquility in the Islands. However, the pact has raised concerns among the western countries fearing that the agreement could give Beijing a military foothold in the South Pacific.
Solomon Islands security pact: China announced that it has signed a wide-ranging security pact with the Solomon Islands that seeks to enhance social stability and long-term tranquility in the Islands. The agreement has been signed between the two parties despite the US warning as the Western Governments fear that it could give Beijing a military foothold in the South Pacific.
Chinese Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the Foreign Ministers of China and Solomon Islands officially signed a framework agreement on security cooperation. A draft version of the pact was also leaked last sending shock waves across the region. Even though the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands assured that he does not intend to allow China to build a military base, there has been done little to alleviate the concerns of the United States.
China-Solomon Islands Security agreement: What does it state?
The agreement between China and Solomon Islands aims at enhancing social stability and long-term tranquility in the Islands. It also stresses that the security pact is not targeted at any third country and serves the common interest of the South-Pacific region.
China and Solomon Islands will conduct cooperation in such areas as protection of the safety of people’s lives and property, maintenance of social order, natural disaster response, and humanitarian assistance in order to help the Solomon Islands strengthen capacity building in safeguarding its own security.
China- Solomon Islands Security Pact: Why western countries are worried?
The United States has raised concerns over the security accord between China and the Solomon Islands by pointing out the broad nature of the security agreement.
As per the US, it may enable China to deploy its military forces into the country. The security pact between China and Solomon Islands can also stir up the instability in the Islands and can set a concerning precedent for the wider Pacific Island Region.
The US has also announced that the two high-rank US officials will travel to the Solomon Islands to inform about US’s rising concern over China’s increasing activity in the region.
Similar concerns have also been raised by US allies in South Pacific, including New Zealand and Australia.
Where is the Solomon Islands?
The Solomon Islands are an archipelago of hundreds of small islands in the Southern part of the Pacific Ocean. The island is located approximately 2,000 km NE of Australia.
There are six big islands- the largest one is Guadalcanal which is home to Capital Honiara. The others are Santa Isabel, New Georgia, Malaita, Choiseul and San Cristobal. The population of the Solomon Islands is roughly 8,00,000 and over a quarter live either on Malaita or Guadalcanal. There are also a few thousand people of ethnic Chinese heritage.
The Solomon Islands are well over 9,000 km from India.
How China-Solomon Islands security pact affect India?
There is no direct or immediate effect on India as the Solomon Islands are a significant distance from mainland India and even the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. However, China’s advances in the Pacific region will be a cause of concern for India.
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