After pact with China – Solomon Islands: blocking of all foreign naval ships

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About three months after signing a security agreement with China, the South Pacific Solomon Islands are revising their rules for accepting foreign naval vessels. After initially saying that US military ships would not be allowed to dock in ports until further notice, a spokesman for Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the ban currently applies to all foreign armed forces.

The spokesman added that the national capacity to control the exclusive economic zones of the island nation in the South Pacific should be expanded. A US Coast Guard ship was unable to enter a port in the Solomon Islands last week because the government failed to respond to a routine request for refueling and supplies. The British naval vessel Spey also had to cancel a planned port stay. The Solomon Islands have had a tense relationship with the United States and its allies since signing a security pact with China earlier this year.

China’s growing influence is perceived with concern
On Monday, a US State Department spokesman described the lack of clearance for the military vessel as “deplorable”. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby criticized China’s attempts to intimidate and force countries in the Indo-Pacific to act on their terms.

China has been hunting the islands in the Pacific Ocean for a long time. Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited island groups in the Pacific for ten days in May. China’s actions are being viewed critically by the US, as well as Australia, Japan and New Zealand as a sign of the growing influence of the People’s Republic in the region.

Source: Krone

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