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The US government has confirmed its threat to invade the small southern Pacific country of Solomon Islands in the event that China establishes a military base there.

The blatantly illegal ultimatum was issued in person to Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare by a U.S. delegation led by the National Security Council Coordinator for Indo-Pacific, Kurt Campbell, on April 22.

Solomon islands

Following the 90-minute meeting, the White House issued a threatening statement: “If steps are taken to establish a de facto permanent military presence, power projection capacity or military installation, the delegation noted that the United States would have significant concerns and respond accordingly. “

The State Department has since left no doubt as to what is meant by “react accordingly.”

On April 26, Deputy Foreign Minister for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, who was part of the Campbell delegation, spoke to the media. He was asked directly whether the United States “would take military action against the Solomon Islands if China established a base there.” His refusal to rule out such an intervention means that is exactly what is being discussed in Washington.

Kurt Campbell in 2013 [Source: University of South Carolina US-China Institute]
“We have outlined the specific concerns we have regarding the potential for a permanent military presence or power projection capability or a military installation, and we have indicated that if these events were to occur, the United States would respond accordingly. And I think It is best if I leave it at that and do not wonder what it may or may not mean, ”Kritenbrink replied.

The State Department official added that the recently signed security agreement between the Solomon Islands and China had implications for “the security interests of the United States and our partners,” and that in meeting with Sogavare “we wanted to be crystal clear about what that might mean.”

These blatant statements have been repeated by the Australian Government. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated that he will not allow the establishment of a Chinese base on Australia’s so-called “doorstep”, adding that this would represent a “red line”, ie a trigger for military action in the Solomon Islands.

The Solomon Islands-China agreement has erupted as the most prominent topic in the federal election campaign, with the opposition Labor party seeking to position itself as the most reliable and ruthless advocate for Australian and American imperialist interests.

What has emerged underscores the advanced nature of U.S. plans for a military attack on China. American imperialism is hit by huge social and political crises in the home and confronted with a weakened position in the world economy. The Biden administration previously promised to end only “the eternal wars” in the Middle East in order to better prepare for war against its great rivals, Russia and China.

Washington has committed $ 33 billion to the US-NATO proxy war against Russia that has been provoked in Ukraine. American and Australian threats to the Solomon Islands have further exposed the hypocrisy of imperialist geopolitics.

Ukraine’s move to join the aggressive NATO alliance is defended as an absolute “right”, and Russia’s objections to the establishment of additional US bases on the country’s western border are readily rejected. For the Solomon Islands, on the other hand, despite being separated from the U.S. landmass by 10,000 kilometers of sea, the government’s decision to enter into a security deal with Washington’s top rival carries with it threats of retaliation. This demonstrates the reality behind American talk of a “rule-based order” and the sovereign rights of small nations under international law.

The Solomon Islands government has insisted it has no plans to house a Chinese military base.

Prime Minister Sogavare delivered a defiant speech to the parliament in Honiara yesterday. He raised riots in 2006, which took place during the neo-colonial, Australian-led regional aid mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), and the three-day devastation that followed last November’s failed coup attempt by US-backed forces from the province of Malaita. . “Of course, the security agreement with Australia is insufficient to deal with our tough internal threats,” he said, adding that for the welfare of our people and the economy of our country, we had sought elsewhere.

Sogavare insisted that Canberra had informed its government that Australian police and military would not protect Chinese assets and infrastructure during their deployment to the Solomon Islands last year. This allegation has been met with angry denials by Australian officials.

Sogavare’s speech also exposed the hypocrisy of US-Australian complaints about the lack of “transparency” with China’s security agreement, pointing to their lack of consultation with regional countries before signing the AUKUS military pact with the United Kingdom targeting China.

“I learned about the AUKUS Treaty in the media,” he told parliament. “One would expect the Solomon Islands and members of the Pacific as a member of the Pacific Family to have been consulted to ensure that this AUKUS Treaty is transparent. But I am aware that Australia is a sovereign country and that it can enter into a any treaty it will, transparent or not, which is exactly what they did with the AUKUS treaty. […] When Australia joined AUKUS, we did not become theatrical or hysterical about the implications it would have for us. ”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked yesterday if he thought Sogavare “parroted China’s rhetoric.” He completely ignored what Sogavare was actually saying, and replied, “Well, there is a remarkable resemblance between these statements and that of the Chinese government.”

There is little doubt that Washington and Canberra intend to step up their destabilization campaign against the Sogavare government.

Separately from their discussion with Sogavare last week, Kurt Campbell and the State Department team met with Matthew Wale, Solomon Islands opposition leader. Wale has long sought to win favor with Washington and Canberra and has promised that if he is prime minister, he will terminate not only the military deal with China, but also the diplomatic shift from Taiwan to China in 2019.

The United States also continues its highly provocative economic and political support for violent separatist forces in the province of Malaita. Provincial leader Daniel Suidani has insisted he will not recognize Beijing and has prevented Chinese staff from entering Malaita. Suidani’s supporters of the banned Malaita For Democracy (M4D) group have previously issued pogrom threats against ethnic Chinese on the island, leading the failed coup attempt in November last year, which involved three days of looting and arson in Honiara.

The US and Australian media have maintained a blackout over Washington’s support for these forces, which threatens to restart sectarian divisions that plagued the poor country between 1998 and 2003.

By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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