WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is concerned about the lack of transparency in China’s reported security pact with the Solomon Islands, the White House said on Tuesday, calling it part of a pattern of Beijing offering “shadowy” deals to countries.
China said earlier it had signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands, heightening concerns of the United States and allies Australia and New Zealand about growing Chinese influence in a region traditionally under their sway.
A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said in a statement that U.S. officials would raise the issue with the Solomon Islands on a planned visit to the Pacific Island country this week.
“We are concerned by the lack of transparency and unspecified nature of this agreement, which follows a pattern of China offering shadowy, vague deals with little regional consultation in fishing, resource management, development assistance and now security practices,” the official said.
(Reporting by Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Chris Reese)