Solomon Islands Suspends Foreign Navy Ships Visits
The Solomon Islands Prime Minister's office has reportedly temporarily banned all naval visits until protocol procedures are refined, allegedly to improve control over its exclusive economic zones.
- The Solomon Islands Prime Minister's office has reportedly temporarily banned all naval visits until protocol procedures are refined, allegedly to improve control over its exclusive economic zones.
- This comes a week after a US Coast Guard cutter, the Oliver Henry, and the British HMS Spey had to abort a routine port call as the island's government reportedly failed to answer their requests to refuel and reprovision.
- Both vessels were taking part in Operation Island Chief, a 10-day annual patrol to help the Solomon Islands tackle illegal fishing.
- On Tues., while welcoming the US hospital ship Mercy, PM Manasseh Sogavare argued that they were authorized to dock but had already left its waters by the time approvals were processed.
- The South Pacific nation has become a hotspot for tensions between the US and China after it signed a security pact with Beijing earlier this year, reportedly allowing Chinese warships to anchor about 2,000km away from Australia.
- The Solomon Islands' pivot toward China began in 2019, when the country ended its relationship with Taiwan to establish official ties with the PRC.
Sources: BBC News, CNN, Maritime-Executive, SCMP, Bloomberg, and News.
- Anti-China narrative, as provided by Nikkei Asia. The latest developments in the Solomon Islands are a clear indication that the growing Chinese influence in the South Pacific nation is meant to favor authoritarianism. Western countries' navy ships have been barred from docking in its ports, foreign journalists have been threatened and attacked by government officials, and the PM is pushing to postpone the elections.
- Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. Although Western media and governments are trying to use this episode to promote anti-China rhetoric, the truth is that Solomoners don't want to be a pawn in the US's geopolitical game in the Pacific. While China cooperates transparently with Pacific nations to address urgent climate and development challenges, the West can only offer militarization and demands.