- 17 Oct 2019
- 2 min read
A Beijing-based company which has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party has secured exclusive development rights for the entire island of Tulagi and its surroundings.
- It has been reported that a secretive deal was signed in the month of September 2019 with the provincial government in the Solomon Islands, for the same.
- Tulagi is an island within the Solomon Islands, which are located in the South Pacific, directly between Australia and the U.S.
- It was the administrative seat (from 1893) of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate until it was destroyed by the Japanese (1942) during World War II.
- The move has alarmed U.S. officials who see the island chains of the South Pacific as crucial to keep China in check and protect important sea routes.
- The agreement includes provisions for a fishery base, an operations centre, and the building or enhancement of the airport.
- China is also pushing to end the region’s status as a diplomatic stronghold for Taiwan.
- The Solomons cut ties to Taiwan and allied with Beijing just a few days before the Tulagi deal. A second Pacific nation, Kiribati, followed suit the same week.