Strategic Agreement of China-Solomon Islands, US Concern

Strategic Council Online - Interview: An expert on the US affairs, commenting on China’s security agreement with the Solomon Islands, said: Security agreement between the presidents of the Solomon Islands and China, which was signed on April 19 was a strategic agreement between Beijing as a major world power and a small island nation that would undoubtedly have global consequences.

Tahmoures Gholami, speaking in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, referred to the US concern over the agreement and said: The signing of this agreement is a small part of the great rivalry between the United States and China, and it is expected that as we move forward, this rivalry will intensify and take on various military, cultural, political and economic dimensions.

The expert, noting that in the rivalry between Beijing and Washington in East Asia, the most important ally of the United States is the Australian government, said: Australia is a Western and Christian country in Asia, which is also considered as a NATO ally; therefore the United States has always had a special account on Australia whenever needed in the wars, alliances, and coalitions, and Australia has sided with the United States.

Gholami added: Although the United States has allies such as Japan and South Korea, Washington’s most important ally in East Asia or the Pacific to counter China is Australia.

He continued: It is not wrong to say that Australia’s role for the United States in dealing with China now is similar to the role played by Britain or perhaps France and West Germany in competing with the Soviet Union for Washington.

The expert on the US affairs explained: Australia is still at the center of the US aggressive policies against China.

On the main feature of Australia’s importance for the United States, Gholami referred to the tripartite treaty signed between Britain, the United States and Australia, known as the AUKUS Pact.

He added: Under the pact, the two governments of London and Washington, pledged to convert Australian submarines into nuclear submarines. It should be noted that nuclear submarines, in addition to having more power and range, can carry much more military weapons.

According to the expert, based on the pact, the United States has tried to equip the Australian ground and air forces with more weapons and has also been able to encourage the Australian ruling party to improve the quality and quantity of its military forces.

He stressed that the AUKUS Pact is a pact that greatly worried the Chinese. Because it was clear that Australian nuclear-powered submarines was clearly a move against China, which Beijing was well aware of. Meanwhile, the western side did not conceal this issue.

Gholami also said that the United States had tried to involve India, along with Australia, in order to form a circle for the siege of China, just as they had formed for the Soviet siege.

The expert on US affairs believes that what accelerated the signing of the Solomon Islands agreement with China the most, was an agreement previously signed among the United States, Britain and Australia and greatly concerned Beijing.

He continued: The United States, in addition to having troops in Japan or South Korea and other islands in the region, has sought to strengthen Australia. The objective to strengthen those military forces in East Asia has also been China.

Gholami stressed: Under such circumstances, it is natural for the Chinese to react and try to infiltrate islands, territories or countries that are closer to the territory of one of the US allies.

The expert, commenting on the territorial position of the Solomon Islands said: The Solomon Islands are located in northeast of Australia, and the fact that the Chinese have signed a security agreement with them allows their troops or warships to be stationed there or to conduct joint military operations.

He continued: This agreement also gives China the opportunity to have closer access to Australia or to provide Beijing with the opportunity to control naval movements of the other side. It could also be a base for China to put pressure on Australia.

Saying that if today the United States is trying to put pressure on China through Taiwan, Gholami added: Beijing has also been provided with the opportunity to put pressure on the US allies such as Australia through islands such as the Solomon Islands.

The expert on the US affairs, commenting on the rivalry shaped between China and the United States, noted: Now on the one hand, the United States is trying to infiltrate countries that put pressure on China, and on the other hand, Beijing is trying to infiltrate governments that will not allow the siege by the United States and will be able to put pressure on the American side.

According to Gholami, that is why China is trying to gain influence in Central Asia, expand its relations with Pakistan, get closer to the Philippines, maintain relations with North Korea, and in the last step, has established close ties with the Solomon Islands.

The expert, saying that this rivalry is quite natural, said: Both China and the United States are trying to be present in different countries, and China’s presence in the Solomon Islands is only a small part of that competition. We may also hear similar news in the future about China’s agreements with other countries.

According to Gholami, China’s agreement with the Solomon Islands is a completely strategic move to counter US influence in different countries, which began since the time of Barack Obama administration.

He concluded by stressing: Therefore, since this was the US approach to put pressure on China, now Beijing by signing similar agreements wanted to infiltrate and even break Washington’s siege in order not to make the siege of Beijing a nuisance when the US-China rivalry intensifies.

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