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Report: Australia’s Got a Solomon Islands Headache (Again) Australia’s Got a Solomon Islands Headache (... | View Comments ()
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Analysts have dubbed Australia’s upcoming elections a “khaki election”—one influenced by wartime rhetoric—as incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison has zeroed in on rising security tensions in the Pacific islands during the final months of his campaign.
The tension came after the Solomon Islands—a small nation to the northeast of Australia, where the United States lost around 7,000 troops in an island-hopping campaign against Japan in World War II—signed a security pact with China in April that would allow Beijing to deploy armed police and military personnel to the island, according to a draft of the document leaked by opposition parties.
National security has become a hot-button issue for candidates in the lead-up to Australia’s elections this Saturday. The broad, “nontransparent” language used in the written pact between the Solomon Islands and China has made officials and analysts wary of Beijing’s intentions as China in recent years has more aggressively expanded its military and diplomatic footprint in the Southern Pacific. China has also proposed building a major wharf in Vanuatu and has established military cooperation with Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Tonga.
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