US Officials Headed to Solomon Islands Amid China Concerns

The Solomon Islands is preparing to sign a security deal with China

Senior Biden administration officials will visit the Solomon Islands this week amid US concerns over the Pacific island nation’s plans to sign a security pact with China.

The White House’s National Security Council’s Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell and the State Department’s top Asia official, Daniel Kritenbrink, will be leading a delegation of officials from the Pentagon and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The trip will include stops in the Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. “The delegation will meet with senior government officials to ensure our partnerships deliver prosperity, security, and peace across the Pacific Islands and the Indo-Pacific,” the National Security Council said in a statement.

The Solomon Islands’ plans to sign a security pact with China have come under heavy criticism from Australia. Officials in Canberra have said the deal could lead to China establishing a military base on the Solomon Islands, which is about 1,200 miles north of Australia’s coast.

But the Solomon Islands insist the pact will not allow China to build a base. According to a leaked draft of the agreement, which hasn’t been finalized, China will be able to deploy security forces and dock ships in the Solomon Islands.

In recent years, the Solomon Islands has grown closer to China and severed diplomatic relations with Taipei to open up with Beijing in 2019. In its effort to counter China in the region, the US announced in February that it is opening an embassy in the Solomon Islands.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.