White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell and the US State Department’s prime official for Asia will journey this week to the Solomon Islands amid considerations that the Pacific nation is making a safety pact with China.
Campbell and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Kritenbrink, will lead a delegation to the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
The delegation contains Department of Defense and US Agency for International Development officers, the White House National Security Council stated in an announcement on Monday.
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“The delegation will meet with senior government officials to ensure our partnerships deliver prosperity, security, and peace across the Pacific Islands and the Indo-Pacific,” it stated with out giving dates for the journey.
The staff can even cease in Hawaii to “consult with senior military officials and regional partners at United States Indo-Pacific Command,” it stated.
In February, the United States introduced it will open an embassy within the Solomon Islands, a part of an effort by the Biden administration to commit extra diplomatic and safety sources to the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s drive for higher affect.
The Solomon Islands stated in March that it was making a partnership with China to sort out safety threats and guarantee a protected surroundings for funding in what can be a significant inroad for Beijing in a area that US allies Australia and New Zealand have for many years seen as their “backyard”.
But after a regional backlash, the Solomon Islands stated it will not permit a Chinese army base there.
Australia’s Defence Minister Peter Dutton has stated that China hopes to realize a army foothold within the Pacific Islands, together with a “military port” in Papua New Guinea.
China supplied to redevelop a naval base in Papua New Guinea in 2018 however Australia’s closest northern neighbour determined to have Australia develop the bottom as an alternative.