A top US delegation visited the site, explaining to Presidents of the Solomon Islands that if Beijing establishes a “permanent permanent military presence”, the United States will “respond accordingly,” according to the president’s statement.
That would be the case if “military installations” or “project capabilities” were established that would allow a Chinese division in the region, he said.
Representatives of the White House and the State Department traveled to the Salomon Islands on Friday, where they met with Prime Minister Manasseh Chowdhury.
Washington wanted to convince the archipelago not to sign an agreement with Beijing, but on Tuesday it was official.
“In response to the concerns raised, Prime Minister Chowkare reaffirmed his commitment and specifically promised that there would be no military base, long-term presence or the ability to plan from the outside,” the statement said.
“The United States will continue to monitor developments closely with its regional partners,” he said.
The delegation stressed the “potential implications for regional security” and questioned the “scope, purpose and transparency” of the agreement during “substantial discussions”.
The Americans, who claim to “respect the Solomon Islands’ right” to make “their sovereign decisions”, have struggled to gain their confidence through a series of decisions.
These include expediting the opening of the US embassy, strengthening mining cooperation, dispatching hospital ships and providing additional vaccinations.
The two countries are committed to initiating a “high-level strategic dialogue” that will focus on the key issue of security.
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