White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell and the U.S Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink, will lead a delegation to Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea this week amid concerns over the Solomon Islands-China security pact.
The delegation includes Department of Defence and U.S Agency for International Development officials, the White House National Security Council said in a statement on Monday.
“The delegation will meet with senior government officials to ensure our partnerships deliver prosperity, security, and peace across the Pacific Islands and the Indo-Pacific.”
The team will also stop in Hawaii to “consult with senior military officials and regional partners at United States Indo-Pacific Command,” it said.
Solomon Islands official warns country leader is ‘trying to gain power’
Meanwhile, Solomon Islands Opposition Policy Advisor Joel Fangalasuu has spoken out against a deal with China which would allow the “communist power” to build a military base on the pacific island nation.
Solomon Is. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare agreed to a controversial security pact with China to cement his political power, Fangalasuu claimed.
Fangalasuu said it was not in his country’s interests to be drawn into a geopolitical struggle.
“The Opposition’s stance to this is clear… We do not believe China should be allowed to build a military base here in the Solomons… The Solomon Islands does not have any external enemies. This alone should be reason enough for China not to be allowed to build a military base here,” Fangalasuu told Sky News Australia on Monday.
“We would not support this deal. We would kick China out. That would be our position,” Fangalasuu stressed.