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U.S. turns the screws on Solomon Islands to counter China, 28 Apr enhanced interrogation
"We have respect for the Solomon Islands' sovereignty, but we also wanted to let them know that if steps were taken [by China] to establish a de facto permanent military presence, power projection capabilities or a military installation, then we would have significant concerns and we would very naturally respond to those concerns," DANIEL KRITENBRINK, assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told reporters Monday.
[...]
Either option would mark a heightening of efforts by the U.S. and regional allies Australia, New Zealand and Japan -- which climaxed with last week's visit to the region by Kritenbrink and KURT CAMPBELL, the National Security Council's Indo-Pacific coordinator -- to abort any move by China to use a Solomon Islands foothold to challenge the region's geostrategic status quo.
[...]
"You can't make up for years of neglect with a few high-level visits and expect everything to work out fine, so [U.S.] levers of affecting the Solomons' decision are pretty limited unless you want to be punitive -- which doesn't make a lot of sense -- or occasional [U.S. Navy] sailings through the area, " said MICHAEL AUSLIN, research fellow in contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution. "But if the Solomons are as strategically important as is being made out in Washington, then increase your bid -- offer them more than the Chinese are offering them, offer them more development assistance, offer them whatever they want."
crude, rude, and socially unacceptable
by Cat on Thu Apr 28th, 2022 at 10:27:03 PM EST
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