Model Question and Answers for APSC | China’s security pact with the Solomon Islands is a first, but unlikely to be the last. It signals towards rising of a new hegemon. Comment.
Ans : China’s government announced that it had signed a landmark security pact with the Solomon Islands, evoking concern from Australia and the U.S.
Rising of a new hegemon
1. The agreement is the first of its kind that China has agreed with any country, and underlines its ambitions to play a security role in the Pacific.
2. The final version has not been made public, but according to a draft that was leaked last month, it will pave the way for China to deploy its security forces there.
3. The Solomon Islands can request police and military personnel “to assist in maintaining social order”, while China can make ship visits and use its ports for logistics.
4. This will give China’s vessels a strategic foothold in the Pacific, in a region close to Australia and Guam, where the U.S. has a naval base.
5. It extends beyond the immediate regional security concerns in the Pacific. For decades, China insisted it would never open a military base abroad. Then, in 2017, the PLA put into use its first foreign base in Djibouti. The Solomon Islands government said the agreement does not imply China will build a base there.
6. Chinese military planners have, however, made clear that further bases — for its navy — are in the works, with experts suggesting possible locations in Pakistan, Cambodia, and Equatorial Guinea (in the Atlantic).
Chinese media have mentioned China-Pakistan patrols in Pakistanoccupied Kashmir, while reports have suggested the deployment of security forces in Tajikistan near the Wakhan corridor that links Afghanistan and Xinjiang.
China moving to the “centre stage”:
1. China’s past commitments on military bases and non-interference were intended to show the world Beijing would not seek to become a global “hegemon”, its favoured term to describe the U.S.
2. But this is less of a concern for Xi Jinping, who has made clear his view that the “East is rising and West declining” and that China should be unabashed about moving to the “centre stage”. The latest security pact is unlikely to be the last.