you we Solomon Islands warned that it would act “in agreement” if it China On Friday, the White House announced the establishment of a “permanent military presence” in the Pacific archipelago, following the signing of a controversial security agreement.
The high-ranking US delegation that visited the site made it clear to Solomon Islands leaders that if “Beijing establishes a de facto permanent military presence, the ‘US’ will respond accordingly,” according to a presidential statement.
And the same would be done if a “military facility” or “power projection capabilities” were established that would allow Chinese deployments in the region.
Representatives from the White House and the State Department traveled to the Solomon Islands on Friday, where they met Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavari.
Washington wanted to persuade the archipelago not to sign an agreement with Beijing, but on Tuesday (19) it was officially announced.
“In response to the concerns raised, Prime Minister Sogavari reiterated his assurances and specifically emphasized that there would be no military base, long-term presence or power projection capability,” the statement said.
“The United States stressed that it will closely monitor developments with its regional partners,” he said.
The delegation also insisted on “potential implications for regional security” and questioned, during the “substantive discussions”, “the objective, scope and transparency of the Convention”.
The Americans, who say they “respect the right” of Solomon Islands to make its “sovereign decisions”, have struggled to win its trust with a series of decisions.
These include accelerating the opening of a US embassy, enhancing mine cooperation, dispatching a hospital ship, and delivering additional vaccines.
The two countries also pledged to launch a “high-level strategic dialogue” focusing on the sensitive security issue.
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