The U.S. will respond if China builds a military base in the Solomon Islands
The United States will speed up the opening of an embassy in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, the White House said, stressing that the United States is “gravely concerned” about China’s possible permanent presence of troops there and warned that it will “take appropriate response measures.”
Reuters reported that after China and the Solomon Islands officially signed the “China-Solomon Islands Bilateral Security Cooperation Framework Agreement” earlier this week, the White House Indo-Pacific affairs coordinator Campbell led a delegation to the Solomon Islands’ capital Honey on Friday (April 22). Yala met with the country’s leaders.
According to a statement issued by the White House, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sogavare reiterated to the U.S. delegation that in accordance with the security agreement signed in the Solomon Islands, China will not set up a military base in the Solomon Islands, and there will be no long-term military presence and no military deployment.
The White House did not say what the U.S. response might be, but its statement was candid and direct, and U.S. concerns were evident.
“The U.S. delegation has made clear to the Solomon Islands that if China has a permanent military presence, a project of power, or military installations here, the U.S. would be seriously concerned and would respond accordingly,” the White House said.
“The United States emphasizes that the United States will closely monitor developments in the region in consultation with regional partners,” the White House said.