TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The National Security Bureau (NSB) was already aware China and the Solomon Islands were planning on signing a security agreement last year, NSB Director Chen Ming-tung (陳明通) said during a Legislative Yuan inquiry session on Thursday (April 28).
During a Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee meeting, Kuomintang Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), a member of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, asked Chen when the NSB knew China and the Solomon Islands were planning to sign the agreement.
Chen said the bureau heard about the development last year and that the intelligence it received was nearly the same as what eventually happened, CNA reported.
Though details of the agreement have not been revealed, it could potentially allow Chinese Navy ships to anchor in the Solomon Islands for resupply and permit Beijing to send police and military personnel, if requested, to help maintain social order in the Pacific Island nation.
"The purpose of China-Solomon security cooperation is to promote social stability and long-term peace and security in Solomon Islands, which is in line with the common interests of Solomon Islands and the South Pacific region," ABC quoted China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin as saying.
Chen compared the ongoing strategic battle between China and the U.S. to the rivalry between Athens and Sparta. He added now that the Solomon Islands is under China’s strategic sphere of influence, regional security has been severely impacted and made regional nations cherish Taiwan's strategic value even more.