Over the last several years we have posted a number of blogs, most recently on September 22, 2021, “Sea Power”, relating to the importance of freedom of the seas, particularly with regard to the risks surrounding the critical Malacca Strait and the increasing adventurism of China in the South China Sea. Apparently the Chinese have been reading them and have learned the lessons of World War II in the Pacific Ocean. The 1942 Battle of Guadalcanal proved the critical importance to Pacific security of the Solomon Islands. Now China has got its foot in the door.
What’s going on? The government of the Solomon Islands has experienced protests and riots. Historically, Australia has helped to maintain order. Recently, the besieged government announced that it is accepting non-lethal gear, riot gear and six Chinese Police Liaison Officers to train and equip the local police force. China’s political and economic interests in the archipelago are growing and a security presence will give it more leverage.
All comments and suggestions are welcome.
Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA