Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton will respond at a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Parliament Building in Canberra, Australia, on December 13, 2021.

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Sydney / Wellington, March 25 (Reuters)-Solomon Islands partnership with China on Friday to address security threats and ensure a safe environment for investment to diversify security relations Confirmed that it is being built.

Security agreements with Pacific island nations will be China’s major aggression in areas that US allies Australia and New Zealand have considered for decades as their “backyard.”

The two countries expressed concern about the impact of military cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands on regional security after a draft outlining the proposed cooperation was leaked this week.

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In his first public comment on this issue, the Solomon Islands government said, “We need to expand our partnership to improve the quality of life of our people and address the soft and hard security threats facing the country. Is. “

In a statement, he said “to diversify security partnerships in countries including China” and worked to sign a number of agreements “to further build a safe and secure environment for domestic and foreign investment”. I’m out.

On Thursday, Solomon Islands officials told Reuters that a security agreement with China for the military would be sent to the cabinet for consideration. Solomon has already signed a police agreement with China.read more

The Solomon Islands, in addition to maintaining the rule of law, said they would cover humanitarian needs, need to rebuild the economy after the recent riots, sign air service agreements with China, and increase trade. He added that there is.

He added that as the Solomon Islands deepen their ties with China, the security agreement with Australia signed in 2017 will be maintained.

Australia’s Pacific Minister Zed Seselja has been informed of Australia’s concerns over talks with China by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavale, and Canberra is expected to “significantly retreat in the region.” Said.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison commented on the issue earlier on Friday, stating that Australia and New Zealand are members of the “Pacific Family”, providing security assistance and having a history of responding to the crisis.

“Some people pretend to be influential or try to take some form in the area, and we are very aware of it,” he told reporters.

“Uneasy effects”

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the proposed agreement was “one of the most important security developments we have seen in decades, negatively impacting Australia’s national security interests. It’s something to give, “he told ABC Radio.

Less than one million Pacific island nations 2,000 km (1,240 miles) northeast of Australia switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing in 2019, demonstrating China’s growing influence in the Pacific.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in a statement that Pacific partners should be transparent in their actions.

“Such an agreement is always the right to be signed by any sovereign state,” she said.

“But progress within this agreement could destabilize the current institutions and arrangements that have long supported security in the Pacific region.”

Australia and New Zealand have police in the Solomon Islands, which is part of a multinational delegation invited by Sogavale to restore order after the November riots.

Residents of the Solomon Islands, who published a draft security agreement online, told Reuters that the document came from police sources.

It aims to help Chinese police and the military support social order, disaster response, and protect the safety of Chinese staff and major projects.

Australia’s defense minister, Peter Dutton, said the move to establish a Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands would be a concern.

“We want peace and stability in the region,” Dutton told Channel Nine. “We don’t want uneasy effects, nor do we want the pressure and coercion we see from China.”

The United States announced last month that it would open a US embassy in Honiara, amid concerns that China might be trying to strengthen military relations in Honiara.read more

In Beijing on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin urges officials to consider “objectively, calmly, and not over-interpreting” security cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands. I asked.

He was answering questions about the new security agreement asked at regular media briefings.

“Some Australian politicians have deliberately created an atmosphere of tension by announcing the so-called” Chinese coercion “fallacy. This is very irresponsible and does not help the stability and development of the region, “added the king.

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Report by Kirsty Needam and Lucy Kramer. Additional report by Eduardo Baptista in Beijing. Edited by Robert Birsel and Clarence Fernandez

Our Criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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