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China-Solomons Pact’s Lack of ‘Transparency’ Worries US

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said officials would raise the issue with the Solomon Islands on a planned visit this week.


Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare and Chinese premier Li Keqiang attend a 2019 signing ceremony in Beijing. Photo: Reuters

 

The US is concerned about the lack of transparency in China’s reported security pact with the Solomon Islands, the White House said on Tuesday, calling it part of a pattern of Beijing offering “shadowy” deals to countries.

China said earlier it had signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands, heightening concerns from Washington and its allies Australia and New Zealand about growing Chinese influence in a region traditionally under their sway.

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said in a statement that US officials would raise the issue with the Solomon Islands on a planned visit to the Pacific Island country this week.

“We are concerned by the lack of transparency and unspecified nature of this agreement, which follows a pattern of China offering shadowy, vague deals with little regional consultation in fishing, resource management, development assistance and now security practices,” the official said.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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