New Zealand

Samoa Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa (left) and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare (right) listen to the opening remarks of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Suva on 12 July 2022. (William West/AFP)

ASEAN needs to watch the US-China strategic competition in the Pacific

Beijing’s recent moves to establish security cooperation with Pacific island states have riled the US and Australia. Among the places that China has made moves is the Solomon Islands, where Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US security advisor Kurt Campbell have each visited within the past three months. ASEAN needs to closely watch the ongoing great power competition there to draw lessons for its own security.
US President Joe Biden during a news conference following the final day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit at the IFEMA congress center in Madrid, Spain, on 30 June 2022. (Valeria Mongelli/Bloomberg)

What a ‘resurrected’ NATO means for China and the world

The recent NATO summit in Madrid seems to indicate that NATO is making a comeback in full force. For China, painted as presenting “systemic challenges” to NATO, this should sound a warning that when the time is ripe for the US to contain China, key countries in the Asia-Pacific and the EU will not be on its side.
China's State Councilor and Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe gestures before a plenary session during the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, 12 June 2022. (Caroline Chia/Reuters)

China at the centre of the world’s politics

Former journalist Goh Choon Kang observes that whether it is the discussions at the recently concluded Shangri-La Dialogue or the larger machinations of geopolitics, it cannot be denied that having China in the picture changes many things, and perhaps even provides countries with more strategic options.
A photo taken on 22 April 2022 shows China's ambassador to the Solomon Islands Li Ming (right), and Solomons Prime Pinister Manasseh Sogavare (left) attending the opening ceremony of a China-funded national stadium complex in Honiara, Solomon Islands. (Mavis Podokolo/AFP)

Solomon Islands: Will China pick up the gun to defend its interests in the developing world?

Loro Horta notes that the US, Australia and New Zealand have been overly fixated on China possibly building a military base in the Solomon Islands. If anything, the security pact signals China's greater willingness to be more interventionist in its approach to other countries. If so, this is the true shift in policy that the West should be worried about.
An undated handout photo released on 29 March 2022 by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) shows a China Police Liason Team officer (centre) training local RSIPF officers. (Handout/RSIPF/AFP)

China-Solomon Islands security pact: Alarm bells ringing for Australia and New Zealand?

Dr Anne-Marie Schleich, a former German ambassador to New Zealand, explains why Australia and New Zealand are worried about a new security deal inked between China and Solomon Islands. Have they not been paying enough attention to their own backyard?
An undated handout photo released on 29 March 2022 by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) shows China Police Liason Team officers training local RSIPF officers. (Handout/RSIPF/AFP)

Will China-Solomon Islands security cooperation bring new tensions to the South Pacific?

The new policing and security agreements between China and the Solomon Islands have neighbouring countries such as Australia and New Zealand anxious about the potential militarisation of the region. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong warns that small island nations in the South Pacific must be careful about choosing sides so as not to become pawns in great power competition.