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