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Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare rules out Chinese military base after hug from Anthony Albanese

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has vowed that China will never have a military base in his country after Prime Minister Anthony Albanian’s embrace diplomacy in Fiji.

The Pacific Islands nation signed a security treaty with Beijing earlier this year, raising fears it would give China a foothold in Australia’s backyard.

Now Mr Sogavare has ruled it out, saying he acknowledged it would turn his nation into an “enemy” and could target his country for military strikes.

But he warned the nation would still turn to China if Australia didn’t give them the support they say they need.

The change of heart came after he was pictured hugging Mr Albanian warmly when the two leaders met for the first time on Wednesday at the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has vowed that China will never have a military base there after Prime Minister Anthony Albanian's hugging diplomacy in Fiji.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has vowed that China will never have a military base there after Prime Minister Anthony Albanian’s hugging diplomacy in Fiji.

Just two months earlier, Mr Sogavare had been photographed arm in arm with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who wanted “iron ties” with China.

After the May 26 meeting, Mr. Sogavare said he was ready to strengthen communication and coordination with China on international issues.

But now, after overnight talks with Mr Albanian, the Pacific Prime Minister says the country’s future rests with Australia – as long as Australia helps them when needed.

He said Australia remained its “security partner of choice” and that he would only turn to China for security personnel if Australia was unable to fill a “gap”.

“Let me assure you all once again that there is no military base, nor any other military facility or institution in the agreement,” he said. the guard

“And I think that’s a very important point that we keep repeating to the family in the region.

“It is not in anyone’s interest, nor in the interest of the region, for a military base to be established on an island in the Pacific, let alone the Solomon Islands.

“The moment we establish a foreign military base, we immediately become an enemy. And we also target our country and our people for possible military attacks.”

Two months ago, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, was photographed arm in arm with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who wanted

Two months ago, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, was photographed arm in arm with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who wanted “iron ties” with China.

He called on Australia to take the place of China and provide the nation with the necessary security support.

Mr Sogavare said that when it comes to security issues, he will address Australia first.

Experts fear an impending flashpoint between the Australian and Chinese military could lead to a ‘serious incident’ after escalating clashes over territorial claims.

A Chinese base in Australia’s backyard would have dramatically increased the risk of an explosive clash with Beijing.

Earlier, Mr Albanian had said he was “very confident” that the Solomons would not allow the Chinese to build a military base there.

“I had a very constructive conversation with Prime Minister Sogavare yesterday. I sat with him at dinner last night,’ the old the Today show on Thursdays

“One of the things we need to do is build personal relationships between Australia and our friends in the Pacific to make sure our interests, as well as theirs, are protected.”

He rejected suggestions he had asked Mr. Sogavare to tear up the treaty, adding: “They are a sovereign nation. We must respect that.

“But what we also need to do is make it clear what Australia’s interests are.

“And of course Australia’s interests wouldn’t be served with a military base so close to where Australia is and so close to where Queensland is.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said after talks with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare he was

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said after talks with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare he was “very certain” that China would not have a military base in the Solomon Islands.

The warnings of rising tensions come after the Australian naval frigate HMAS Parramatta was stalked by Chinese planes, nuclear submarines and warships.

And on Wednesday, a US warship deliberately sailed within 12 miles of China-claimed territory in the South China Sea in a direct challenge to Beijing.

It follows previous clashes in which Australian military aircraft were threatened by Chinese fighter jets using potentially dangerous flares and chaff, and another target of powerful Chinese military-grade lasers.

Now defense expert Professor Don Rothwell has warned: “The risk of miscalculation is one that is very real.”

Experts fear imminent flashpoint between Australian and Chinese militaries could lead to 'serious incident' after escalating clashes over President Xi Jinping's territorial claims

Experts fear imminent flashpoint between Australian and Chinese militaries could lead to ‘serious incident’ after escalating clashes over President Xi Jinping’s territorial claims

The warning comes after Australian naval frigate HMAS Parramatta was stalked by Chinese planes, nuclear submarines and warships

The warning comes after Australian naval frigate HMAS Parramatta was stalked by Chinese planes, nuclear submarines and warships

HMAS Parramatta’s movements were shadowed by the Chinese military as it sailed between Australia, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan last month.

Tensions rose in the East China Sea when the Australian ship was warned it was entering “Chinese territorial waters” despite still being in international waters.

Now it has also been revealed that a US warship sailed within 12 miles of Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on Wednesday to challenge China’s claim over the region.

The Freedom of Navigation Operation, 500 km off the coast of Vietnam, was a deliberate provocation to undermine Beijing’s rights to the territory.

The incident passed without incident – but defense experts fear it may only be a matter of time before the flashpoints escalate into a major confrontation.

Defense experts fear it may only be a matter of time before the hot spots escalate into a major confrontation

Defense experts fear it may only be a matter of time before the hot spots escalate into a major confrontation

They are concerned that Australia is challenging Beijing in the same way as the US, but without the same backup resources that the US military can rely on.

“It’s getting harder — Australia is isolated to a degree,” Professor Rothwell of the Australian National University told ABC.

“Clearly there is a pattern to Australia’s activities now” [that is] very closely related to the way the United States conducts similar activities.

“We have to accept that Australia often sails alone through those waters without much backup, as the US Navy often would have.”

The fears were shared by former Defense Secretary Darren Chester.

“What worries me is that in the future there is more chance of an incident resulting from a level of misfortune or miscalculation or a mistake being made than an actual act of aggression,” the Nationals MP said.

“We need to be very careful and make sure we work closely with our allies. I think it’s very important that we try to de-escalate these situations where possible.

‘At the same time, we have every right to be there. The Australian Navy is incredibly professional, incredibly well trained and incredibly capable and they just do their job.”

In May, a Chinese fighter jet released aluminum foil chaff dangerously close to the jet engines of an RAAF Poseidon surveillance aircraft, triggering a diplomatic incident

In May, a Chinese fighter jet released aluminum foil chaff dangerously close to the jet engines of an RAAF Poseidon surveillance aircraft, triggering a diplomatic incident

In May, a Chinese fighter jet released aluminum foil chaff dangerously close to the jet engines of an RAAF Poseidon surveillance aircraft, triggering a diplomatic incident.

And another Australian Poseidon surveillance plane was attacked in February by powerful military lasers from a Chinese ship off Australia’s northern coast.

During the federal election campaign, the ADF also tracked a Chinese naval vessel off the west coast of Australia, apparently watching military signal traffic.

On Sunday, four USAF B-2A stealth bombers landed in Queensland in a high-profile show of strength and support for Australia.

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On Sunday, four USAF B-2A stealth bombers landed in Queensland in a high-profile show of strength and support for Australia

The flying wing style aircraft flew 9 miles from their US base in Missouri on a “training and strategic deterrent mission in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Squadron Commander Lt Col Kousgaard added: “This deployment of the B-2 to Australia demonstrates and enhances the readiness and lethality of our long-range penetrating strike force.”

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