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27.05.2022 12:42 News >> 'Pact With Solomon Islands Not For Military Base,' China Clears The Air

'Pact With Solomon Islands Not For Military Base,' China Clears The Air

Chinese foreign minister sets sail for tour of Asia Pacific with 1st stopover in Solomon Islands.

China has dismissed any notion that the security pact it signed with Solomon Islands was meant to establish any military base in the Pacific Islands nation.
Beijing asserted that the Pacific Island nations are sovereign and independent states and "are not anyone's backyard."
"China-Solomon Islands security cooperation is aboveboard and frank, not imposing on others, not targeting third parties and not intending to establish military bases," China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a news conference in the Solomon Islands' capital Honiara alongside his counterpart Jeremiah Manele on Thursday night.
Wang is on an official trip to the island nation after the signing of a security deal between the two countries last month, that triggered a chain reaction from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the US.
It is also the first such high-level trip by any Chinese official since 2019 when Solomon Islands shifted its diplomatic relations to Beijing, after adopting the 'one-China principle', snapping ties with self-ruled Taiwan.
Under the security deal, China will help Solomon Islands enhance its security and equip the police force with the latest technology.
Many countries in the region fear that this could lead to the establishment of a military base by China in the archipelago nation, a concern shunned by both Beijing and Honiara.
"It is never China's foreign policy, nor is it Chinese style, to impose business deals on others, interfere in Solomon Islands' internal affairs, or damage other countries' interests," Wang said. according to a statement by China's Foreign Ministry.
The top Chinese diplomat will also visit Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and East Timor during his tour from May 26 to June 4.
'Sovereignty, equality, consent'
Wang said the framework agreement on security cooperation negotiated between China and Solomon Islands "is the cooperation between sovereign countries, which aims to assist Solomon Islands in improving its policing and law enforcement capabilities and support Solomon Islands to better safeguard its social security while also protecting the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Solomon Islands."
He said the pact is "reasonable and legitimate with everything being operated in an open and transparent manner."
Solomon Islands government said the two sides formalized "a number of development cooperation frameworks, arrangements and sub-state relations that will see deeper economic engagement and closer people to people connection."
China is a major infrastructure and trade partner of the island nation.
Wang said the cooperation agreements with Solomon Islands have been reached with "full respect to national sovereignty of Solomon Islands."
"China-Solomon Islands cooperation is based on Solomon Islands' needs and requirements, on the premise of Solomon Islands' consent, and on the basis of equal consultation," the top Chinese diplomat said.
"China supports Pacific Island countries in strengthening security cooperation and working together to address regional security challenges," he said, adding that the security cooperation between Beijing and Honiara and the existing regional arrangements "complement each other, sharing the same objectives and interests."
"China-Solomon Islands security cooperation conforms to the common interests of Solomon Islands and the South Pacific region," he said.
"Any smears and attacks on China-Solomon Islands normal security cooperation will be a dead end and any interference and sabotage will be doomed to failure," he warned.​​​​​​​ -



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