China furthers Military Expansion in Solomon Islands
Although China claimed that they have no intention of building a military base in Honiara however a secret leaked document depicts the contrary picture as it exposes China of its intentions to solidify its military presence in the Solomon Islands.
Recently, a secret document was leaked which comes after the Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi visited eight countries in the South Pacific, starting with the Solomon Islands, Taipei Times reported. The Chinese Foreign Minister said that the purpose of the agreement between the two countries was to help the Solomon Islands upgrade its police force's law enforcement capabilities.
Moreover, Wang said that the agreement "aims to assist the Solomon Islands in improving its policing and law enforcement capabilities, and support the Solomon Islands to better safeguard its social security."
However, the issue still raises concerns in Australia, as well as in Europe and the Americas.
Soloman Islands is not the first target of China's plan. Earlier, in 2017, China established its first overseas base in the East African nation of Djibouti and conducted regular military training exchanges with its two key security partners, Russia and Pakistan, Taipei Times reported.
For the past few years, China has been training the law enforcement of developing countries in Africa, Central, and South America, and Southeast Asia in the name of "public security and police exchanges," and providing them with hardware and software support at little to no cost.
In 2011, it set up the China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand Mekong River Joint Patrol Law Enforcement Joint Headquarters in China's Yunnan Province, and the four countries have conducted at least 117 joint patrols.
The presence of Chinese officials in developing countries shows the reach of Beijing's influence and penetration in the region, according to the Taipei Times.
China extracts many benefits from the arrangements, such as by requesting natural resources in exchange for training. For example, Ecuador has exchanged petroleum for surveillance systems made by China's Huawei Technologies and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, which enable its law enforcement to increase surveillance of political opponents and the public, reported Taipei Times.
In some cases, China sends members of its military and police units as advisers, establishing an international system of "law enforcement and security cooperation with Chinese characteristics."
According to the publication, China's presence in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America, poses a threat to their security and erodes the sovereignty of the countries involved. China can also use the equipment involved to conduct overseas intelligence gathering, which is a breach of global democracy and freedom.
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