Published: Released Date – 5:13 pm, Wed – Feb 16, 22
Hyderabad: The United States recently said it would open an embassy in the Solomon Islands, and in unusually sharp terms lay out a plan to increase its influence in the South Pacific before China becomes strong there. Read more about the islands and why it’s in the news these days.
Solomon Islanders loved their history with the Americans on the battlefields during World War II (1939-45), but that the United States was in danger of losing its preferential ties as China “aggressively seeks to engage” elite politicians and businessmen in the Solomon Islands. The move comes after riots rocked the nation in November 2021.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare survived a no-confidence motion the following month, telling lawmakers in a burning 90-minute speech that he had done nothing wrong and would not bow to the “forces of evil” or to “Taiwan’s agents.”
The United States previously operated an embassy in the Solomon Islands for five years before closing it in 1993. Since then, U.S. diplomats from neighboring Papua New Guinea have been accredited to the Solomon Islands, which has a U.S. consular agency.
The Solomon Islands is a nation in Melanesia, east of Papua New Guinea, comprising more than 990 islands. Its capital is Honiara, located on the island of Guadalcanal. The islands have a population of 7 lakh.
The Solomon Islands have been inhabited by Melanesian peoples for at least 30,000 years. It consists of a double chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls in Melanesia.
Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country includes most of the Salomon chain – with the exception of Buka and Bougainville, two islands at the northwestern end that form an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea.
Big problems on the islands
The riots grew out of a peaceful protest, highlighting protracted regional rivalry, economic problems and concerns about the country’s growing ties with China.
The embassy’s announcement fits with a new Biden administration strategy for the Indo-Pacific and emphasizes building partnerships with allies in the region as a way to counter China’s growing influence and ambitions.
At the recent Quad meeting, the United States has said it is committed to a “free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient” Indo-Pacific region.
Type of government
The island is a constitutional monarchy, with the British monarch, represented by a governor-general, acting as the formal head of state. The country, still a member of the Commonwealth, is still independent, and the Governor – General is appointed on the advice of the unicameral National Parliament.
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