China and Solomon Islands have signed a framework agreement on security cooperation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.
“As approved by the governments of China and Solomon Islands, Minister of State and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Jeremiah Manele signed the Intergovernmental Framework Agreement on Security Cooperation between the two countries on behalf of China and Solomon Islands,” Wangin reported in a briefing. News Agency.
The agreement seeks to strengthen “social stability and long-term peace in the Solomon Islands,” he said, stressing that China-Solomon Islands security cooperation is not aimed at any third country serving the common interests of the South Pacific.
“The two sides will work together in areas such as maintaining social order, protecting the security of human life and property, humanitarian aid and natural disaster preparedness, in an effort to help Solomon Islands strengthen capacity building to protect their own security.” Wang added, according to Xinhua.
On Monday, the United States raised concerns about a draft China-Solomon Islands security agreement, in which State Department spokesman Ned Price pointed to the “broad nature of the security agreement” that could enable China to deploy its military forces in the country. The agreement, he said, could create instability in the Solomon Islands and “set a worrying precedent for the wider Pacific Island region.”
The U.S. State Department also announced that later this week, two senior U.S. officials, Kurt Campbell and Daniel Kritenbrink, will travel to the Solomon Islands to pass on Washington’s concerns about China’s rising activity in the region and similar concerns expressed by U.S. allies in the south. The Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, added the new agency.
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