By David Sole
On April 19 the independent nation of Solomon Islands signed a security agreement with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
“The pact allows China to send police and military personnel to the Solomon Islands” and for Chinese warships to make port visits. This is the first island government in this region of the Pacific to make such an agreement.
In 2019, the Solomon Islands switched recognition from Taiwan to the PRC. In November, 2021, after incitement from “unnamed powers”, according to Prime Minister Sogovare, people from the neighboring island of Malaita came to the capital city of Honiara and waged a three day riot in the Chinese community, burning down many buildings and killing three people. The government called in Australian police, who stood by and did nothing about the unrest. Three people were killed.
One of the main demands among the rioters was that the government cut all ties to China. Many Solomon Islanders suffered economically from this event, with many losing their jobs and income. So it is no surprise that the government would make a security agreement with the PRC. But the prime minister insists that there will be no Chinese military bases in the Solomons.
Nevertheless, the imperialist United States and its allies are furious. Only days after the agreement went into effect, U.S. Ambassador to Solomon Islands Daniel Kritenbrink, joined by Kurt Campbell, a top White House official, met with Solomon Islands government leaders. Australian officials, the U.S.’s junior partners in the region, have claimed that this agreement means a “Cuba on their doorstep.”
By the way, Cuba trained some 75 medical students from the Solomon Islands, at no cost, at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana. These doctors are desperately needed by the people of Solomon Islands to fend off a wide range of tropical diseases and debilitating conditions.
A news article in yahoo.com laid out, in no uncertain terms, the U.S. position – “U.S. Threatens Military Action if China Sets Up Solomon Islands Base.” Despite Solomon Islands being 7,397 miles from the United States, Kritenbrink declared the pact creates “potential regional security implications” for the U.S.
Kritenbrink exposed how imperialists view the world when he stated “this agreement has not been scrutinized or viewed or subjected to any kind of consultation or approval process by anyone else.” He didn’t explain why two sovereign nations needed to get the approval of the U.S., or anyone else, before signing a treaty.
To put this in perspective consider that the United States has about 750 military bases in 80 different countries worldwide. China has 5 outside its own borders.
In the current war between Russia and Ukraine, the U.S. and the mass media pointedly reject Russia’s demand for a guarantee that Ukraine does not enter the NATO alliance nor establish U.S./NATO military bases on its territory, which shares a 1200 mile border with Russia. Yet the U.S. claims “regional security implications” that harm the U.S. when Solomon Islands signs a pact with China. What then about Russian regional security concerns? The hypocrisy of U.S. imperialism is truly staggering.