Issue Brief on “China-Solomon Islands Security Deal: Implications for India”

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On March 24, 2022, Reuters reported that China and the Solomon Islands were considering signing a bilateral security agreement.[2] It was officially signed on April 19, 2022.[3] The details of the agreement were not made public by the Solomon Islands government. However, the close version of the pact was leaked from within the Solomon government in late March 2022.  The Government of Solomon Islands maintains ‘One China Policy’ since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two on September 21, 2019.[4] The Chinese Foreign Minister cleared China’s position regarding the security deal and argued that “China-Solomon Islands security cooperation is aboveboard and frank, not imposing on others, not targeting third parties and not intending to establish military bases.”[5]

However, the majority of the Western media reported that the aim of the pact is to establish a naval base in the region allowing it to expand its naval presence in the South-Western Pacific.[6] By the virtue of the said agreement China gets the license to deploy the police and military on the islands. Nonetheless, Beijing and Honiara have denied any such possibility.[7]

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