“One of the most senior US officials in the Pacific has refused to rule out military action against Solomon Islands if it were to allow China to establish a military base there, saying that the security deal between the countries presented “potential regional security implications” for the US and other allies.”
“Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, was part of a high-level US delegation to the Pacific country last week.”
“He said the US team, which also included the National Security Council coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs, Kurt Campbell, had a 90-minute “constructive and candid” meeting with prime minister Manasseh Sogavare in which the US team detailed concerns about its recently signed security deal with China.”
“In a statement last week, the Biden administration said the US would “respond accordingly” if China was allowed to establish a long-term presence on the islands”.
“The rhetoric escalated in the wake of the statement, with the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, saying Australia had “the same red line” as the US when it came to China’s involvement in Solomon Islands, and defence minister Peter Dutton using his Anzac Day address on Monday to declare: “Australia should prepare for war”, claiming that China was “on a very deliberate course at the moment”.”