Great Power Strategy: China and the Solomon Islands sign a security agreement that may open the "broken window effect"

Great Power Strategy: China and the Solomon Islands sign a security agreement that may open the "broken window effect"  During World War II, the Japanese army occupied the Solomon Islands, trying to block the US-Australia route, but was defeated by the US military. Today, a new force has emerged in the Solomon Islands. This South Pacific island country with a population of only 700,000 has become a battlefield for the US and China.  The United States only announced in February of this year that it would open an embassy in the Solomon Islands and would invest more diplomatic and security resources, but it was obviously too late. China announced on April 19 that it had signed a bilateral security cooperation framework agreement with the Solomon Islands.  China and Solomon Islands have not disclosed the entire contents of the agreement, but it has been reported that Solomon Islands allows Chinese public security, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement and armed forces to be deployed to Solomon Islands, and China can also "according to its own needs, after obtaining the consent of Solomon Islands. ship visits in the Solomon Islands, logistical supplies, and stops and transitions in the Solomon Islands”.  Worrying for the US and Australia, the deal would open the door for China to send troops in the Solomon Islands. Australia, which is less than 2,000 kilometers away from the Solomon Islands, is the most worried. Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently sent a senior official to visit Solomon, hoping that it would abandon the signing of the agreement and return without success. Former prime minister Kevin Rudd called the deal "one of the most important security moves Australia has seen in decades" and a defence failure by the current Australian government "on its doorstep".  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that China and Solomon Islands have cooperated in security on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, openness and transparency to help Solomon Islands maintain social order, respond to natural disasters, and carry out humanitarian assistance. Existing bilateral and multilateral security cooperation mechanisms. However, some Chinese media pointed out that the agreement between China and the Solomon Islands has made the "Indo-Pacific strategy fail." The "Diplomatist" magazine has analyzed and interpreted that this is Beijing's counterattack against AUKUS, the military alliance of the United States, Britain and Australia.  A delegation including officials from the Department of Defense and USAID, led by White House Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, met on April 22. Arrived in the Solomon Islands on 19th, and also visited Fiji and Papua New Guinea during this trip.  Lai Yi-chung, executive member of the Taiwan think tank, said that this agreement is not a mutual security interest cooperation between China and Solomon, but unilaterally funded by China for the construction of military security facilities in Solomon, and even China's military supplies, including warships, may be based on Solomon Stay as a base or stronghold.  Song Wendi, a lecturer at the School of Asia-Pacific at the Australian National University, said that the signing of the framework agreement on security cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands is a loss of a "strategic hub" for Australia and New Zealand. "broken windows effect". It means that if a small local problem is not dealt with properly in time, it may destroy the whole situation.  Strategically, the Solomon Islands, located in the northeast of Australia, are the maritime transportation hub in the South Pacific region. During the Second World War, Japanese Marshal and Admiral Yamamoto Fifty-six led the army to occupy the Solomon Islands, ready to use it as a springboard to win Australia, where the United States and Japan fought for half a year, and finally the United States led the alliance. The army completely defeated the Japanese army on Guadalcanal Island, completely occupied Guadalcanal Island, and then seized the Solomon Islands, won the sea control of the entire South Pacific, and achieved a major victory, namely the famous Guadalcanal Island Battle, the Allies have since then The shift from the defensive to the counter-offensive was an important turning point in the Pacific War. Solomon Islands' strategic position can be seen from this.  On the diplomatic level, Song Wendi pointed out that for many years, the Pacific island countries still accept the substantive leadership of the United States and Australia politically, and are increasingly close to China economically. The possibility that economic and trade relations will lead to changes in political relations has always existed. At present, countries including Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga (Taiwan translation Tonga), Vanuatu and other countries owe a lot of debts to China after receiving Chinese aid and development loans for a long time. In terms of political relations, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati both turned to recognize Beijing in 2019, which was an important turning point.  Although the Solomon Islands said it would not allow China to set up military bases, this could not resolve the concerns of the United States and Australia. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern negotiated an agreement in the field of security and defense in Tokyo on the 21st, and planned to start an exchange of intelligence between the two countries, which is obviously a threat to China.  Song Wendi said that the details of the final agreement are still to be announced. Judging from the recently leaked draft, there are two points worth observing. Article 1 of the agreement states that, with the consent of the landowner, the Solomon Islands, China can, according to its own needs, send ships to visit the ports of the host country, and engage in logistical supplies, as well as transit stopovers. Although it is not stated explicitly, it does not rule out regular visits by the Chinese navy. At the same time, although the government of the country stated that China is not allowed to build military bases there, Article 7 of the agreement also pointed out that it can be revised in the future as needed. "Revision" (revise) is likely to be "expand" (expand), at one time or another, the current version of the agreement does not allow it, and there is no guarantee that future versions will never allow it.  Australia defends China's advance in the South Pacific or reduces its involvement in Indo-Pacific affairs  Solomon Islands is Australia's northern gate and an important strategic buffer zone. It is less than 2,000 kilometers away from Cairns, the big city in northeastern Australia. Song Wendi believes that when Solomon turns to China, Australia has a potential threat to its strategic connection with the United States and will have to force it. Australia is likely to reduce its involvement in Indo-Pacific affairs by returning more security and diplomatic resources to its immediate neighbor, the South Pacific.  Song Wendi said: "The Art of War's 'Thirty-six Strategies' has a saying of 'encircling Wei and saving Zhao'. From Beijing's point of view, at this time when Sino-Australian relations are not on good terms, the strategy of going deep into Australia's 'backyard' is also a little bit like the 'Nine Swords of Dugu' attack. The effect of his inescapable salvation."  Writing in the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network, Jade Guan, a lecturer in strategy at Deakin University in Australia, said Australia's reaction after the agreement was revealed in late March ranged from panic, worry, concern, to warnings against overreaching. She believes Australia's response can be understood in terms of Australia's role and sense of identity in the South Pacific. She said while Australia was often seen as a middle-ranking country in international politics, it saw itself as a major power with a leadership role in the South Pacific. Canberra cannot accept an "unfriendly" external force challenging its "natural" sphere of influence. From a geopolitical perspective, China's military presence in the South Pacific has worried Australia and the United States that the agreement signed by China will require them to change their military posture in the region.  At the global level, there are concerns that China under Xi Jinping aims to rewrite the post-World War II international order, she said. Canberra has long been concerned that China's growing power projection will threaten the existing order dominated by the United States, which provides a major support role for the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. Such concerns have been growing since China's Belt and Road Initiative expanded into the South Pacific, especially in 2018 when six Pacific countries signed up to the initiative and already owe Beijing a debt. Moreover, the Solomon Islands established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 2019. As such, China is seen as expanding its economic and diplomatic power in the region. Western allies believe that China's security deal with the Solomon Islands will continue this trend and further disrupt the regional order.  Lai Yizhong further pointed out that China’s actions against Solomon have been frequent in recent years. In 2018, China’s Morita Group attempted to obtain the exclusive development rights of Solomon’s Tulagi Island for a period of 75 years, which has raised the alarm. Later, this plan was terminated by the Solomon Department of Justice. Another plan is that Huawei is trying to cooperate with Solomon to build a submarine optical cable, which has also caused the United States and Australia to worry that China may take the opportunity to conduct underwater reconnaissance, and use Solomon as the "ears and eyes of progress" to grasp the dynamics of the United States and Australia. Later, this submarine optical cable project was carried out by Australia. get.  However, Lai Yizhong said that when China took the Solomon Islands from Taiwan in 2019, the breach had already appeared. "China used to come secretly in Solomon, but now it comes openly." In the past, because Solomon was a diplomatic ally of Taiwan, China used threats and inducements to obtain Solomon's cooperation. Now Solomon is in China's hands, and China comes directly. The US and Australia were caught off guard and completely unpredictable. After Solomon cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan, there was no Taiwan to assist in grasping the local situation. With the closer cooperation between China and Solomon Islands now, it will be more convenient, more tools and more destructive for China to monitor US-Australia relations in the future.  China's seizure of Taiwan's diplomatic ties is part of the competition between China and the United States He pointed out that China's seizure of Taiwan's diplomatic ties is no longer a diplomatic war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. It has become part of the overall strategic plan to weaken the US alliance under the competition between China and the United States. As long as China continues to exist in the Solomon Islands, China will have more legitimate reasons to cover up its real intentions, which will force the cooperation between the United States and Australia and other countries to take a more secretive approach, which is of course detrimental to the overall situation. The question now is that China has extended its tentacles to the Pacific Ocean. If the supply lines of the United States in the Pacific cannot be guaranteed, how will the United States deal with the Indo-Pacific? The U.S. investment in Indo-Pacific resources will endanger the United States’ ability to pay attention because of China’s existence. . Now the United States needs to ensure with allies that the South Pacific will not be arbitrarily used by China's strategic resources, and will not become a frontline base for China to monitor and counter the United States, as well as to conduct strategic competition with China.  Lai Yizhong said that the signing of the agreement between the two countries highlights that the United States has not been alert to respond in a timely manner. The most important issue is how to prevent similar situations from happening in the future. In the future, China and Kiribati may also have new development. Kiribati is the United States from Hawaii to Midway. Important locations, many of the Pacific island countries fought in World War II are very important strategic locations, and now all are China's active extension of the sphere of influence.  Lai Yi-chung said that the China-Suoyang agreement should alert Western countries to the fact that China must have other plans to unplug Taiwan's diplomatic ties in recent years. "In the past, the international community often regarded China's unplugging of Taiwan's diplomatic relations as a matter between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. This view is absolutely wrong. China has its own strategic intentions. China wants to compete with the United States and does not want to lose to the United States. Fully control the movements of the United States, so when something happens in the Taiwan Strait, China must ensure that it can grasp, or even interfere with, sabotage the actions that the United States may rush to the Western Pacific."  He emphasized that the security of the Taiwan Strait is definitely not a matter between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, but a regional and even a major global issue. China has begun to actively deploy its second and third island chains in the Pacific Ocean. In the past, the United States and Australia saw China's expansion of power in the second and third island chains. They often thought that China only wanted to unplug Taiwan's diplomatic ties, and considered it a bilateral affair between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. , I did not expect that China's goal is to target the United States, and it is to expel Australia's influence. The reason China does this is "it thinks that it needs to take Taiwan to gain absolute dominance in East Asia, and then force the US power back to Hawaii. If China wants to win the battlefield in Taiwan, it must start from the East in the United States. All the routes that come to support us must be very clear to interfere and sabotage. Taiwan's diplomatic relations in the Pacific are a battleground for China.

During World War II, the Japanese army occupied the Solomon Islands, trying to block the US-Australia route, but was defeated by the US military. Today, a new force has emerged in the Solomon Islands. This South Pacific island country with a population of only 700,000 has become a battlefield for the US and China.

The United States only announced in February of this year that it would open an embassy in the Solomon Islands and would invest more diplomatic and security resources, but it was obviously too late. China announced on April 19 that it had signed a bilateral security cooperation framework agreement with the Solomon Islands.

China and Solomon Islands have not disclosed the entire contents of the agreement, but it has been reported that Solomon Islands allows Chinese public security, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement and armed forces to be deployed to Solomon Islands, and China can also "according to its own needs, after obtaining the consent of Solomon Islands. ship visits in the Solomon Islands, logistical supplies, and stops and transitions in the Solomon Islands”.

Worrying for the US and Australia, the deal would open the door for China to send troops in the Solomon Islands. Australia, which is less than 2,000 kilometers away from the Solomon Islands, is the most worried. Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently sent a senior official to visit Solomon, hoping that it would abandon the signing of the agreement and return without success. Former prime minister Kevin Rudd called the deal "one of the most important security moves Australia has seen in decades" and a defence failure by the current Australian government "on its doorstep".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that China and Solomon Islands have cooperated in security on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, openness and transparency to help Solomon Islands maintain social order, respond to natural disasters, and carry out humanitarian assistance. Existing bilateral and multilateral security cooperation mechanisms. However, some Chinese media pointed out that the agreement between China and the Solomon Islands has made the "Indo-Pacific strategy fail." The "Diplomatist" magazine has analyzed and interpreted that this is Beijing's counterattack against AUKUS, the military alliance of the United States, Britain and Australia.

A delegation including officials from the Department of Defense and USAID, led by White House Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, met on April 22. Arrived in the Solomon Islands on 19th, and also visited Fiji and Papua New Guinea during this trip.

Lai Yi-chung, executive member of the Taiwan think tank, said that this agreement is not a mutual security interest cooperation between China and Solomon, but unilaterally funded by China for the construction of military security facilities in Solomon, and even China's military supplies, including warships, may be based on Solomon Stay as a base or stronghold.

Song Wendi, a lecturer at the School of Asia-Pacific at the Australian National University, said that the signing of the framework agreement on security cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands is a loss of a "strategic hub" for Australia and New Zealand. "broken windows effect". It means that if a small local problem is not dealt with properly in time, it may destroy the whole situation.

Strategically, the Solomon Islands, located in the northeast of Australia, are the maritime transportation hub in the South Pacific region. During the Second World War, Japanese Marshal and Admiral Yamamoto Fifty-six led the army to occupy the Solomon Islands, ready to use it as a springboard to win Australia, where the United States and Japan fought for half a year, and finally the United States led the alliance. The army completely defeated the Japanese army on Guadalcanal Island, completely occupied Guadalcanal Island, and then seized the Solomon Islands, won the sea control of the entire South Pacific, and achieved a major victory, namely the famous Guadalcanal Island Battle, the Allies have since then The shift from the defensive to the counter-offensive was an important turning point in the Pacific War. Solomon Islands' strategic position can be seen from this.

On the diplomatic level, Song Wendi pointed out that for many years, the Pacific island countries still accept the substantive leadership of the United States and Australia politically, and are increasingly close to China economically. The possibility that economic and trade relations will lead to changes in political relations has always existed. At present, countries including Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga (Taiwan translation Tonga), Vanuatu and other countries owe a lot of debts to China after receiving Chinese aid and development loans for a long time. In terms of political relations, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati both turned to recognize Beijing in 2019, which was an important turning point.

Although the Solomon Islands said it would not allow China to set up military bases, this could not resolve the concerns of the United States and Australia. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern negotiated an agreement in the field of security and defense in Tokyo on the 21st, and planned to start an exchange of intelligence between the two countries, which is obviously a threat to China.

Song Wendi said that the details of the final agreement are still to be announced. Judging from the recently leaked draft, there are two points worth observing. Article 1 of the agreement states that, with the consent of the landowner, the Solomon Islands, China can, according to its own needs, send ships to visit the ports of the host country, and engage in logistical supplies, as well as transit stopovers. Although it is not stated explicitly, it does not rule out regular visits by the Chinese navy. At the same time, although the government of the country stated that China is not allowed to build military bases there, Article 7 of the agreement also pointed out that it can be revised in the future as needed. "Revision" (revise) is likely to be "expand" (expand), at one time or another, the current version of the agreement does not allow it, and there is no guarantee that future versions will never allow it.

Australia defends China's advance in the South Pacific or reduces its involvement in Indo-Pacific affairs

Solomon Islands is Australia's northern gate and an important strategic buffer zone. It is less than 2,000 kilometers away from Cairns, the big city in northeastern Australia. Song Wendi believes that when Solomon turns to China, Australia has a potential threat to its strategic connection with the United States and will have to force it. Australia is likely to reduce its involvement in Indo-Pacific affairs by returning more security and diplomatic resources to its immediate neighbor, the South Pacific.

Song Wendi said: "The Art of War's 'Thirty-six Strategies' has a saying of 'encircling Wei and saving Zhao'. From Beijing's point of view, at this time when Sino-Australian relations are not on good terms, the strategy of going deep into Australia's 'backyard' is also a little bit like the 'Nine Swords of Dugu' attack. The effect of his inescapable salvation."

Writing in the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network, Jade Guan, a lecturer in strategy at Deakin University in Australia, said Australia's reaction after the agreement was revealed in late March ranged from panic, worry, concern, to warnings against overreaching. She believes Australia's response can be understood in terms of Australia's role and sense of identity in the South Pacific. She said while Australia was often seen as a middle-ranking country in international politics, it saw itself as a major power with a leadership role in the South Pacific. Canberra cannot accept an "unfriendly" external force challenging its "natural" sphere of influence. From a geopolitical perspective, China's military presence in the South Pacific has worried Australia and the United States that the agreement signed by China will require them to change their military posture in the region.

At the global level, there are concerns that China under Xi Jinping aims to rewrite the post-World War II international order, she said. Canberra has long been concerned that China's growing power projection will threaten the existing order dominated by the United States, which provides a major support role for the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. Such concerns have been growing since China's Belt and Road Initiative expanded into the South Pacific, especially in 2018 when six Pacific countries signed up to the initiative and already owe Beijing a debt. Moreover, the Solomon Islands established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 2019. As such, China is seen as expanding its economic and diplomatic power in the region. Western allies believe that China's security deal with the Solomon Islands will continue this trend and further disrupt the regional order.

Lai Yizhong further pointed out that China’s actions against Solomon have been frequent in recent years. In 2018, China’s Morita Group attempted to obtain the exclusive development rights of Solomon’s Tulagi Island for a period of 75 years, which has raised the alarm. Later, this plan was terminated by the Solomon Department of Justice. Another plan is that Huawei is trying to cooperate with Solomon to build a submarine optical cable, which has also caused the United States and Australia to worry that China may take the opportunity to conduct underwater reconnaissance, and use Solomon as the "ears and eyes of progress" to grasp the dynamics of the United States and Australia. Later, this submarine optical cable project was carried out by Australia. get.

However, Lai Yizhong said that when China took the Solomon Islands from Taiwan in 2019, the breach had already appeared. "China used to come secretly in Solomon, but now it comes openly." In the past, because Solomon was a diplomatic ally of Taiwan, China used threats and inducements to obtain Solomon's cooperation. Now Solomon is in China's hands, and China comes directly. The US and Australia were caught off guard and completely unpredictable. After Solomon cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan, there was no Taiwan to assist in grasping the local situation. With the closer cooperation between China and Solomon Islands now, it will be more convenient, more tools and more destructive for China to monitor US-Australia relations in the future.

China's seizure of Taiwan's diplomatic ties is part of the competition between China and the United States
He pointed out that China's seizure of Taiwan's diplomatic ties is no longer a diplomatic war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. It has become part of the overall strategic plan to weaken the US alliance under the competition between China and the United States. As long as China continues to exist in the Solomon Islands, China will have more legitimate reasons to cover up its real intentions, which will force the cooperation between the United States and Australia and other countries to take a more secretive approach, which is of course detrimental to the overall situation. The question now is that China has extended its tentacles to the Pacific Ocean. If the supply lines of the United States in the Pacific cannot be guaranteed, how will the United States deal with the Indo-Pacific? The U.S. investment in Indo-Pacific resources will endanger the United States’ ability to pay attention because of China’s existence. . Now the United States needs to ensure with allies that the South Pacific will not be arbitrarily used by China's strategic resources, and will not become a frontline base for China to monitor and counter the United States, as well as to conduct strategic competition with China.

Lai Yizhong said that the signing of the agreement between the two countries highlights that the United States has not been alert to respond in a timely manner. The most important issue is how to prevent similar situations from happening in the future. In the future, China and Kiribati may also have new development. Kiribati is the United States from Hawaii to Midway. Important locations, many of the Pacific island countries fought in World War II are very important strategic locations, and now all are China's active extension of the sphere of influence.

Lai Yi-chung said that the China-Suoyang agreement should alert Western countries to the fact that China must have other plans to unplug Taiwan's diplomatic ties in recent years. "In the past, the international community often regarded China's unplugging of Taiwan's diplomatic relations as a matter between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. This view is absolutely wrong. China has its own strategic intentions. China wants to compete with the United States and does not want to lose to the United States. Fully control the movements of the United States, so when something happens in the Taiwan Strait, China must ensure that it can grasp, or even interfere with, sabotage the actions that the United States may rush to the Western Pacific."

He emphasized that the security of the Taiwan Strait is definitely not a matter between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, but a regional and even a major global issue. China has begun to actively deploy its second and third island chains in the Pacific Ocean. In the past, the United States and Australia saw China's expansion of power in the second and third island chains. They often thought that China only wanted to unplug Taiwan's diplomatic ties, and considered it a bilateral affair between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. , I did not expect that China's goal is to target the United States, and it is to expel Australia's influence. The reason China does this is "it thinks that it needs to take Taiwan to gain absolute dominance in East Asia, and then force the US power back to Hawaii. If China wants to win the battlefield in Taiwan, it must start from the East in the United States. All the routes that come to support us must be very clear to interfere and sabotage. Taiwan's diplomatic relations in the Pacific are a battleground for China.
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