Dr. Siamak Bagheri in an interview with the site of Strategic Council on Foreign Relations while referring to the security agreement signed between China and Solomon Islands despite strong criticism by Australia and some Western countries, spelled out:” in view of the development which is taking place in international system, and other developments that led to Ukraine war, China has turned to extensive and new investments in military and nuclear fields, and knows well that the similar incident that took place between Russia and Ukraine may happen to this country too. Thus, they have prepared themselves for a pre-emptive measure”.
The expert of international affairs called some military tensions as well as AUKUS military pact as signals of intensification of hard conflicts between the U.S. and China, and continued:” China acts so smartly that in 2021, and in view of spiraling tensions as well as their probable impacts on the economy, leaders of the country increased their strategic reserves so much that at the time it was a matter of question to some experts! But now after the Ukraine war, even the U.S. and Europe economies have suffered from its economic turbulence and inflation, China was not very much affected because of its considerable wheat reserves.
China’s Effort to Sign the Security Agreements
He pointed out to China’s policy to expedite and increase its influence as well as its political and military presence by signing bilateral and multilateral agreements with countries of different important regions of the world, particularly islands of Pacific Ocean and increasing its deterrence power and said:” in fact, China is looking for making the peripheral countries under its sphere of influence frighten and thus to make them not to play in the U.S. ground. But it must be noted that how agreements as such will prove to be real in situations when a tension or a crisis breaks out? And to what extent their governments will play a role according to major powers’ aspiration? As we witnessed the roles played by some countries against the expectations of major powers during war in Ukraine.
Bagheri stated that Solomon Islands is an archipelago comprising hundreds of islands with a population of 700000 and different ethnicities. It used to be a British colony and now because of economic problems, ethnic conflicts and weak social structure it is the scene to insecurity and domestic clashes. He noted that:” Although the government of Solomon Islands supports the relations with Beijing and stands by China in tensions, but the leaders of the second largest and also the most populous island are Taiwan supporters. Presently, the Prime Minister has decided to sever the old diplomatic relations between Solomon Islands and Taiwan in favor of Beijing.
Chinese Measure to Contain Taiwan
The university professor pointed out to the effort made by the U.S. to pressure China because of independence – seeking Taiwan and allocation of special military budget to help it, and said:” the U.S. believes that China will seize Taiwan by 2030, and now through rapid strengthening of its military forces in all fields such as cyber and space arms, it plans to change the balance of deterrence in Taiwan Strait.
Having stated that the President of China had already announced that reclaiming Taiwan is the main objective of the policies of his country in national renovation, he said the signing of security agreement with Solomon Islands was a strategic measure to confront the U.S. provocative policies in the Pacific region and added:” Now, the Agreement has intensified the U.S. as well as its alliances’ concern about the Chinese clout in the region which used to be under the U.S. control in the past. Although China tried to hold talks with Australia within the recent days but as some Australian politicians believe, signing the Security Agreement has been the worst failure of Australia in Pacific Ocean since the Second World War ended.
Having reminded that Australia believes China has placed Micronesian countries of Pacific Ocean under tremendous pressure to sign political and security agreements with them, Bagheri added:” Despite pressures from the West and its alliances, China will not withdraw from the targets it has already set and will preserve its security sphere through different ways and means. Moreover, China will make effort to depend other countries on itself because of its economic power, and it is even more achievable for China when the U.S. faces economic challenges”.
He noted:” concluding the security agreement of China with Solomon Islands from one hand and reopening of the U.S. embassy in the Island from the other hand, represent strategic developments in Pacific region as well as intensification of conflicts between the U.S. and China in the region”.
In the meantime, the expert of international issues pointed out to the U.S. support to the West oriented factions in countries of China’s influence, and called inking of security agreements with various countries during the recent years by China as strategic, and said:” the present government in Solomon Islands agreed to let Chinese warships stop in Solomon Islands, and the Chinese police will be deployed at the request of the Island to restore public order. Although the Archipelago has announced that it did not let Chinese military base set up in the Island but its presence will offer China an upper hand”.
Optimized Conditions for China in Pacific Region after Ukraine Crisis
According to the university professor, despite pressures exerted by the U.S. on China because of Taiwan and Hong Kong situation, war in Ukraine and destruction of the country was an important lesson for countries of the region and made them cautious. They are not willing to pay the price of the competition of major powers like Ukraine. In fact, the war in Ukraine has effected decision makers of Hong Kong and Taiwan more than frightening China. The elites of these countries will not simply assume such a big tension, although public opinion may act excitedly.
Bagheri emphasized under such circumstances, the equation of competition between China and the U.S. in Asia – Pacific has numerous unknowns and after Ukraine war, many data and inputs have changed. In view of incomplete cooperation of NATO with Ukraine, it seems that the experience of the war will lower the tensions in the region. China in general, will be the victor in terms of preventing the repetition of the same model as the Ukraine war. In fact, situation of the region has been further controlled in favor of China.