The China-Solomon Islands Bilateral Security Pact
Amruta Karambelkar

In April 2022, China and the Solomon Islands signed a bilateral defence pact. The signing of this deal has caused great distress within Australia and the US, drawing sharp reactions from both the countries. The news of possible pact of this kind broke into the media in the month of March and apprehensions were raised at that time as well.

China has been steadily gaining traction in the Western Pacific particularly since 2013 when Xi Jinping came to power. The Pacific Islands are part of China’s Belt and Road initiative. China’s engagement with the Pacific is driven by strategic interests in the region, under-cutting Taiwan’s influence, and seek resources and raw materials. In 2019, in a major diplomatic win for Beijing, Solomon Islands made a drastic shift in its long-held foreign policy when it cut ties with Taiwan and establish ties with China. China’s inroads into the Pacific Islands compete with US’s traditional influence.

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