China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China has “no intention at all” to build a military base in the Solomon Islands, dismissing international concerns about the security pact China sealed last month with Honiara.
“It is not imposed on anyone, nor is it targeted at any third party,” Wang said on Thursday. “There is no intention at all to establish a military base.”
Wang made the comments after arriving at his first stop on an eight-nation tour of the Pacific, where he would be seeking a sweeping regional deal on security and trade.
Meanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong was also visiting Fiji on Thursday, a day ahead of her meeting with Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.
“Australia will be a partner that doesn’t come with strings attached nor imposing unsustainable financial burdens,” Wong said during her keynote address.
“We understand that the security of anyone Pacific family member rests on the security of all.”
On Wednesday, Wang arrived in the Solomon Islands amid concerns over China’s increasing military influence in the pacific region.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) reported earlier, that leaked document revealed China seeking a region-wide agreement on trade, data communication, and security with ten Pacific Island countries.
Reports said the security deal the two countries signed last month would allow the deployment of Chinese police, military, and other armed personnel and the docking of Chinese ships on the islands.
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