The Geopolitical Aftershocks of the China-Solomon Islands Security Agreement
Chinese President Xi Jinping, shortly after taking office, remarked in 2012 that “the vast Pacific Ocean has ample space for China and the United States.” The comment was made at a time when Washington was developing its “pivot” or “rebalance” policies in the Asia-Pacific out of concerns about China’s potential to create a sphere of influence in the region that could reach as far as the Pacific Islands. At the time, Beijing’s Pacific policies had been predominantly marked by economic engagement, including via the Belt and Road Initiative, rather than overt strategic considerations.
Since then, however, much has changed. The de facto diplomatic truce between China and Taiwan, which discouraged both parties from swaying each other’s allies, faded quickly when Tsai Ing-wen first took office in 2016. Three years later, the Chinese government succeeded in convincing two Pacific Island states, Kiribati and Solomon Islands, to switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing. And last month, China’s political designs in the Pacific were further revealed when a draft security agreement between China and the Solomons was leaked, including provisions for stationing Chinese military and police personnel in the island state and allowing Chinese vessels to replenish supplies there.
China: Can It Control Japan’s Taiwan Policy?
Introduction: China’s reaction to US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was resolute. The military exercises with live-fire drill were a nearly Pavlovian reaction suggesting they were long pre-planned. […]
Chinese Influence Networks in Finland: A Preliminary Case Study
Summary: The Communist Party of China has established networks of influence and intelligence in Finland, very similar to those observed in other democracies. The networks under survey in this paper […]
How Credible Is NATO’s Pivot to China?
Introduction: In June 2022, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) held its first summit since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Aptly described as “historic, transformative, game-changing,” the meeting […]
China in Sri Lanka and Solomon Islands: Role of Littorals in the Geopolitical Competition
Abstract: This issue brief discusses the growing Chinese sphere of influence in Sri Lanka and Solomon Islands, its impact on the region and on the regional powers, India and Australia. […]
Shifting China-NATO Relations: From Selective Cooperation to Strategic Rivalry?
Introduction: On March 15, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg called on China to withdraw its support for Russia and to condemn its “brutal” invasion of Ukraine […]
Russian Federation and China: Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative
Abstract: This Issue Brief looks at six Sino-Russian projects that have been placed under the rubric of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Since, at the political level, China is […]