According to the Chinese state media reports, a Chinese communist party delegation visited the Solomon Islands, calling for the “flourishing” cooperation between China and the Pacific nation on 29 October 2023. This move was to strengthen the relations and to show how diplomatic ties were in their peoples’ interest.
The Chinese delegation was led by the deputy head of the international department under China’s Communist Party central committee, Guo Yezhou. He met Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare during a visit. The ambitious visit is spanning from 27 to 29 October 2023.
What are the impacts of this Chinese move on the other countries?
China and Solomon Island have upgraded their diplomatic ties to a “comprehensive strategic partnership” during the Pacific nation’s Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare visited Beijing and met Chinese Premier Li Qiang. Both nations signed a policing pact in July 2023.
Such a move by Beijing alarmed the United States. It has responded by releasing a statement that the country has strong relations with the people of the Solomon Islands and assures to keep cherishing and strengthening the bond.
China’s visit to the southern Pacific nation comes a week before Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is to visit Beijing. In June 20233, Solomon Island’s Prime Minister Sogavare called for a review of its security treaty with Australia, which has historically provided policing support to the Solomon Islands.
In such conditions, with shaking relations between the Solomon Islands and Australia, Beijing’s move is strategic. The pro-China stance of Sogavare has raised tension on the island.
China’s landmark security pact with Solomon Islands had raised concerns for Australia and the United States. Both Australia and New Zealand have expressed serious concern about the militarization of the Southern Pacific region.
Why is Solomon Islands important for China?
The security pact between China and the Southern Pacific Island enables Beijing to deploy its security forces.
The Solomon Islands can request police and military personnel “to assist in maintaining social order” while China can make ship visits and use its ports for logistics. It will give China’s vessels a strategic hold in the Pacific, in a region close to Australia and Guam, where the U.S. has a naval base.
This move will allow China to increase its presence in a strategically important region in the Southern Pacific. Beijing’s aggressive presence in the South China Sea region has increased tension between the countries in Southeast Asia and China.
Through such ambitious moves, China’s President Xi Jinping has made clear his view that the “East is rising and West is declining” and that China should be unabashed about moving to the “center stage”.
China delegation’s visit to the Solomon Islands will shape the future political moves for the United States and its allies. But Beijing’s military presence in the Pacific region is becoming harsh and building tensions.
Also, considering the aggressive presence of China in the South China Sea shows its strategy. It is essential to understand such moves can further shape the geopolitical scenarios.
Th policing pact between Solomon Islands and China, gather attention towards Beijing’s steps for becoming the hegemonic power in the future. Earlier in 2023, China became the mediator for settling tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and became the only nation to do so. This was not even done by United States and strongly challenged US hold on the Middle East.
With the tension going on in the world with wars between Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas, such strategic moves by China have to be carefully viewed to understand the geopolitics.