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The Nikkei View

China's Solomon Islands deal risks militarizing South Pacific

Archipelago is key transportation hub for U.S. and Japanese vessels

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, shakes hands with Solomon Islands counterpart Jeremiah Manele at a ceremony in Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic ties in September 2019.    © Reuters

China and the Solomon Islands have signed a security agreement thought to allow for the dispatch of Chinese troops to the archipelago and for Chinese ships to make port calls in the country. This could lead to a Chinese military presence in the South Pacific.

The Solomon Islands, located 2,000 km northeast of Australia, are a key transportation hub for U.S. and Japanese vessels. The island of Guadalcanal -- home to the nation's capital, Honiara -- is famous as the site of a fierce World War II battle.

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