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Australia Calls for War Readiness as Solomon-China Pact Triggers Tensions in Pacific

© Photo : UK Foreign Secy / Annual AUKMIN SummitAustralia and UK Hold Annual AUKMIN Summit on 21 January 2021
Australia and UK Hold Annual AUKMIN Summit on 21 January 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.04.2022
The China-Solomon Islands security pact has triggered significant unease among the US and its Pacific allies. A US delegation openly warned the Solomon Islands’ government, saying any step to establish a permanent military presence by Beijing in the southern pacific nation would receive a strong response.
Australia has issued a warning over the Solomon Islands-China security pact following significant efforts by the US and its allies to thwart the deal. On Monday, Defence Minister Peter Dutton said that Australia could only preserve peace by preparing for war.
"The only way you can preserve peace is to prepare for war, and to be strong as a country. Not to cower, not to be on bended knee and be weak. That's the reality", Dutton told Channel 9 regarding Prime Minister Scott Morrison's remarks saying Australia was setting up a red line in the Pacific over the Solomon Islands-China security pact.
The minister said that it is not in Australia's long-term interests to remain ignorant about incidents happening in the region.

"The arrangement we've entered into with AUKUS and particularly with the United States and the United Kingdom and now with Japan and India, these are all countries that want peace and the preservation of that peace in our region", Dutton added.

Dutton compared the current geopolitical situation to the 1930s and urged countries to speak up against aggressions worldwide.
"We're in a period very similar to the 1930s now, and I think there were a lot of people in the 1930s who wish they had spoken up much earlier into the decade. I think that's the sobering reality of where we are, it is the sobering reality of the intelligence we receive", he reckoned.
The Scott Morrison government has been facing intense backlash from the opposition, with Labor branding the Solomon Islands-China pact Australia's most significant foreign policy failure since the Second World War. Over 17 million Australians will vote to elect the country's next government on 21 May.
Beijing announced the pact last week, days ahead of the arrival of a high-powered White House delegation in Honiara.
The US said it would take unspecified action against the South Pacific nation if Beijing maintains any military presence there. Australian Prime Minister Morrison said on Sunday that he shares the same red line that the US has over the security pact.

"We won't be having Chinese military naval bases in our region on our doorstep", Morrison said.

China's Embassy in Honiara reacted to the warnings, saying Beijing objects to any third party's intention to interfere with cooperation between China and the Solomon Islands as sovereign states. The embassy said that the warning had exposed the US' condescending acts of disrespect towards other nations.
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