The Geopolitical Aftershocks of the China-Solomon Islands Security Agreement
Chinese President Xi Jinping, shortly after taking office, remarked in 2012 that “the vast Pacific Ocean has ample space for China and the United States.” The comment was made at a time when Washington was developing its “pivot” or “rebalance” policies in the Asia-Pacific out of concerns about China’s potential to create a sphere of influence in the region that could reach as far as the Pacific Islands. At the time, Beijing’s Pacific policies had been predominantly marked by economic engagement, including via the Belt and Road Initiative, rather than overt strategic considerations.
Since then, however, much has changed. The de facto diplomatic truce between China and Taiwan, which discouraged both parties from swaying each other’s allies, faded quickly when Tsai Ing-wen first took office in 2016. Three years later, the Chinese government succeeded in convincing two Pacific Island states, Kiribati and Solomon Islands, to switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing. And last month, China’s political designs in the Pacific were further revealed when a draft security agreement between China and the Solomons was leaked, including provisions for stationing Chinese military and police personnel in the island state and allowing Chinese vessels to replenish supplies there.
China in Sri Lanka and Solomon Islands: Role of Littorals in the Geopolitical Competition
Abstract: This issue brief discusses the growing Chinese sphere of influence in Sri Lanka and Solomon Islands, its impact on the region and on the regional powers, India and Australia. […]
Shifting China-NATO Relations: From Selective Cooperation to Strategic Rivalry?
Introduction: On March 15, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg called on China to withdraw its support for Russia and to condemn its “brutal” invasion of Ukraine […]
Russian Federation and China: Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative
Abstract: This Issue Brief looks at six Sino-Russian projects that have been placed under the rubric of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Since, at the political level, China is […]
The Party-State Dichotomy: Convergence and Divergence in China’s Foreign Policy
Introduction: Xi Jinping has consolidated much of the power in the Chinese system, and his foreign policy is no different from other areas. On the contrary, President Xi has been […]
Reconciling Different Approaches to Conceptualizing the Glocalization of the Belt and Road Initiative Projects
Abstract: In response to the recently rising number of academic papers that empirically examine local variances in China’s Belt and Initiative (BRI) projects in various foreign lands, this paper points […]
Examining the Roles of the UN, Europe, and the US if China Invades Taiwan
Introduction: In her inaugural address in 2020, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) reiterated her support for “peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue,” while strongly rejecting China’s “One Country, Two Systems” (一國兩制) policy as […]