Solomon Islands tensions: 12-month outlook

The Solomon Islands signed a new security agreement with China on the 20th of April 2022, much to the frustration of Western nations and its traditional neighbour Australia. Actions such as denying foreign ships from being refuelled in ports, when the US is massively investing in winning over the Pacific region, will be seen as increasingly hostile. Although the Solomon Islands have stated they will not allow a Chinese military base in the region, it is clear this move will frustrate the US and Western leadership as tensions rise. 

KJ-1: It is likely the Solomon Islands will continue to pursue an independent policy direction to the annoyance of Western states in the next 12 months.

  • The Solomon Islands signed a security pact with China despite Western leaders requesting it not go ahead. (Source)
  • The US, Australian and NZ governments are worried about Chinese inroads in the region. (Source)
  • 30th of August 2022 the Solomon Islands banned foreign navy ships from using its ports frustrating the UK and US. (Source)
  • The Solomon Islands president complained of being unfairly criticised since his agreement with China. (Source)
  • The Solomon Islands announced the next general election will be delayed until 2024 resulting in accusations of a power grab. (Source)
  • Australia offered to fund the election but was accused of foreign interference. (Source)
  • The Solomon Islands reiterated that no foreign military bases would be allowed in their nation. (Source)
  • The Solomon Islands president has a history of digs at world government and the established order. (Source)
  • The new Security agreement seems to benefit China heavily. (Source)
  • 12th of October 2022 the Solomon Islands agreed to send 32 police to China for training. (Source)

KJ-2: It is highly likely that the US will continue to pursue more significant ties in the Pacific region in the next 12 months.

  • President Biden announced a joint declaration with Pacific Island nations aimed at countering Chinese Economic Coercion. (Source)
  • The Solomon Islands signed this declaration despite saying it wouldn’t. (Source)
  • The US announced another $860 million in investments for the Pacific Islands. (Source)
  • The US committed to combating illegal fishing in the region which would diminish China’s influence. (Source)
  • Biden’s administration is now taking the growing threat of China in the Pacific as something that needs to be urgently addressed. (Source)
  • 30th of September 2022 the US agreed to provide $2.8 million to step up FBI training for Pacific nations. (Source)
  • The US granted the Philippines $100 million in foreign military funding. (Source)

KJ-3: It is likely that tensions will rise in the Pacific region in the next 12 months.

  • Biden’s administration reaffirmed its commitment to assist Taiwan in defending itself. (Source)
  • US allies in the region are declaring their support for Taiwan as tensions rise. (Source)
  • 4th of October 2022 North Korea carried out its longest-range missile test yet over Japan. (Source)
  • Biden in response announced his steadfast commitment to the defence of Japan. (Source)
  • On the 7th of October 2022, the US and South Korea conducted joint maritime drills in response to North Korean agitation. (Source
  • The US accused Russia and China at the UN of enabling Korean aggression. (Source)
  • 16th of October 2022 President Xi’s speech at China’s Communist Party Congress showed a renewed focus on security in the region. (Source)

Intelligence Cut-Off Date: 24th of October 2022

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