Australia Denies Threatening Solomon Islands Over Deal With China

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The Facts

  • PM Scott Morrison on Thurs. defended Australia's ties with the Solomon Islands after the Pacific nation's leader Mannasseh Sogavare claimed that foreign governments were undermining his country - and even tacitly threatening invasion - over the new security deal with China.

  • Sogavare didn't mention any country explicitly, but his statement came days after Australia and the US made it clear that Chinese military presence on the islands wouldn't be tolerated.


The Spin

Anti-China narrative

The PRC's push into the South Pacific is destabilizing, and will require the US and Australia to adopt a new security approach as China grabs a foothold in Oceania. This new framework may lead the Pacific Islands to become a hotbed for a conflict between the US and China.

Pro-China narrative

China is a popular and supportive regional partner in the Pacific. The Solomon Islands is a sovereign state and is entitled to cooperate with whoever it wants. In fact, Australia acts as a hegemonic and colonialist power, intimidating neighbors who don't follow its orders. Beijing offers a wide range of economic and security development options without the demanding political conditions of the West.

Narrative C

Pacific Island nations have every right to play both sides. The current security situation in the South Pacific makes it possible for less influential countries to benefit from the angst of regional powers. The Solomon Islands and its neighbors can leverage this to maximize aid from both China and the West.


Go Deeper


Establishment split

CRITICAL

PRO

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