News.com reported that an official Chinese document contradicts Beijing’s dismissing plans to build a military base in the Solomon Islands on April 7.
This document shows that China plans to establish a military presence in the Solomon Islands in 2020 after the South Pacific country cut off its relationship with Taiwan in 2019.
The document is a letter signed by Rong Qian, the Avic International Project Engineering Company president, sent to the Premier of Isobel Province, Leslie Kikolo. Avic International is a Chinese state-owned company.
Kikolo faced a motion of no confidence ahead of a Full Assembly Meeting on March 21. However, he resigned rather than face the motion.
Qian’s letter to Kikolo “demonstrates our intent to study the opportunity to develop Naval and infrastructure projects on leased land for the People’s Liberation Navy, for the Isobel Province with exclusive rights for 75 years.”
The letter continued, “before development of the project, China would assist the Solomon Islands, including infrastructure, education, and sports.” Our expertise in the related sector will not only contribute to the success of Vocational Training in Solomon island but will also help the country to improve her educational level and military cooperation with China”.
According to News, “The letter makes a mockery of Chinese denials that it would create a military base in the Solomon Islands.”
According to Solomon Times, after information about the China-Solomon agreement of a military base in the Solomon islands appeared, the Chinese embassy in Honiara stated, “This is utterly misinformation deliberately spread with political motives. Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, the Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has made public statements on it loud and clear. China has law enforcement and security cooperation with many countries globally, including PNG, Fiji, and Vanuatu in the pacific region.”