Beijing: China has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Solomon Islands on “security cooperation” which allow Beijing to send law enforcement forces to the Islands.
The MoU on security cooperation between China and Solomon Islands was signed on March 18. It will allow China to send police, Armed Police, military personnel and other law enforcement forces to the Solomon Islands, on request, to assist in maintaining social order and accomplish other tasks agreed upon by both countries, said the report.
Under the provisions of the MoU, Chinese naval vessels can carry out logistical replenishments and Chinese armed forces can be moved to protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects in the Solomon Islands.
According to the report, Article 5 of the MoU stipulates that the nature of cooperation agreed upon cannot be disclosed to a “third party” without the consent of both parties.
Earlier, in 2019, the Solomon Islands switched its diplomatic ties from Taiwan to Beijing. The country already has a bilateral security agreement with Australia since 2017.
The signing of a security partnership with Beijing has caused concerns in Canberra, as it views the development as part of an attempt by Beijing to set up a military base in the region.
Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands is also negotiating several other MoUs with China including on Civil Aviation Services and Expanding Trade under Non-Reciprocal Trading Arrangement, the report said.