Context: Recently, a Chinese Community Party delegation visited the Solomon Islands. China has been aggressively courting the Pacific islands to have greater geopolitical leverage in the Pacific.
About Solomon Islands
- Solomon Islands is a country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
- It consists of a double chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls in Melanesia.
- The country comprises most of the Solomons chain—except for Buka and Bougainville, two islands at the northwestern end that form an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea.
- Once a British protectorate, Solomon Islands achieved independence as a republic in 1978.
- Honiara, on the north coast of Guadalcanal Island, is Solomon Islands’ capital and largest city.
Recent Geopolitics of Solomon Islands
- 2022 – Solomon Islands signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on policing cooperation with China in March and is reported to be in the process of concluding a security agreement with China, which could allow a Chinese military and naval presence in the islands.
- 2023 – In response to China’s overtures to the islands, the US reopens an embassy on the Solomons after a 30-year absence.
- June 2023-Mr. Sogavare called for review of its security treaty with Australia, which has historically provided policing support to the Solomon Islands.
- July,2023-China had signed a policing pact with the Solomon Islands as both countries upgraded their ties to a “comprehensive strategic partnership”.
India and Solomon Island
- Diplomatic relations between India & Solomon Islands were established in 1987.
- India’s relationship with Pacific Island Countries (PIC) has deepened with evolution of Act East Policy, resulting in setting up of action-oriented Forum for India–Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC).
- India has been aiding Solomon Island in capacity building in diverse fields under ITEC program (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation).