Japan-U.S. Fierce Battle on Guadalcanal Island, Will it Fall into China’s Hands? Solomon Islands and China to Sign Security Treaty

Japan-U.S. Fierce Battle on Guadalcanal Island, Will it Fall into China’s Hands?

Solomon Islands and China to Sign Security Treaty

Article on March 31st,2022 by Jun Kitamura

About Jun Kitamura(Military sociologist. Born in Tokyo. Graduated from Tokyo Gakugei University, Faculty of Education. After working in the Public Safety Department of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, he moved to North America in 1989. D. in political sociology from the University of British Columbia for his research on the mechanisms of war. D. in political sociology from the University of British Columbia, specializing in military sociology, naval strategy, and statecraft. He has also worked as a naval advisor for a U.S. think tank. He currently lives in Seattle as a security strategy consultant. His Japanese-language publications include “U.S. Marine Corps Doctrine” (Fuyo Shobo), “U.S. Military’s View of the Self-Defense Forces’ Capabilities” (Takarajima-sha), “Operation Tomodachi in Pictures” (Namiki Shobo), “Marines and Osprey” (Namiki Shobo), “100 Billion Yen for Cruise Missiles: Neither China nor North Korea is Afraid” (Kodansha), “Trump and Self-Defense Forces’ Military Strategy toward China Simulation Nihon Surrender: Chugoku kara Nansei Shoto wo Mamoru “Tetsuzoku no Tetsu-roku” (“Iron Rules of Island Defense”) (PHP Research Institute), and Saikyou Gunjun Gyokusho ga Manabu Saikyou no Geiseigaku (“The Strongest Geopolitics the U.S. Military Executives Learn”) (Takarajima-sha), among others.)

The former U.S. administration of President Trump has paved the way for a fundamental shift in U.S. national security strategy. In other words, it set the Asia-Pacific region as the top priority region for its foreign and military policy, and placed China, which is poised to usurp U.S. hegemony in the region, as the top virtual enemy.

 The Biden administration, however, has essentially erased the Trump line and is trying to return to the traditional American liberal-Atlantic world order, which regards the Euro-Atlantic region as the top priority region and places Russia as the top virtual adversary.

 And with a strong motive to cover up “Ukraine-gate,” in which his own family members are under suspicion, he is devoted to focusing the attention of the American media and public on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and has successfully fostered “pro-Ukraine and anti-Russia” sentiments.

Confrontation with China” backed into a corner

 Those in the U.S. military, particularly the Navy and Marine Corps, have begun to restructure their strategies, reorganize their organizations, revise their education and training, and begin procuring equipment to suit their needs in order to confront China.

 The U.S. government, Congress, and the media have all been focusing their attention on the situation in Ukraine since President Vladimir Putin massed a large contingent of troops on the Ukrainian border. For this reason, China has been designated as the greatest virtual enemy by the U.S. National Security Strategy, and even a diplomatic boycott of China was called for before the Beijing Winter Olympics, but hostility toward China has been relegated to the margins.

 In fact, the Biden administration’s decision to budget for military assistance to Ukraine has ensured that costs related to the construction of warships and procurement of F-35 fighter jets, which are necessary to confront China, will be affected. As a result, the stock price of Lockheed Martin Corporation, which had jumped up due to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, has temporarily fallen due to information that the number of F-35s to be procured will be reduced.

In addition, the Biden administration superficially inherited the hard-line stance toward China from the latter part of the Trump administration, but, seeing that public hostility toward China had shifted (or had been shifted) toward Russia with the invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration moved to eliminate 352 of the 550 tariffs on Chinese products that President Trump had imposed on the move to eliminate tariffs on 550 items is underway.

The Solomon Islands, a Strategic Keystone

 On the foreign policy front, the Biden administration has been reluctant to engage in military checks and balances against China in the Nansha Islands (a group of Chinese military forward operating bases) and around Taiwan.

 As for the Pacific island nations that China is trying to establish influence over, the Biden administration did not provide assistance for the large-scale disaster in Tonga (see this column, “What Has the U.S. Done? (See this column, “What’s Wrong with the U.S.?)

 And it is almost certain that one such island nation, the “Solomon Islands,” will conclude a security treaty with China. Not only U.S. Navy officials, but also anti-Chinese factions in Australia and New Zealand, which are in close proximity to the Solomon Islands, are greatly alarmed by this move.

 The Solomon Islands are strategically important because they are in a position to flank supply lines connecting the U.S. with Australia and New Zealand (“Solomon Islands” in this paper refers to a nation, not to the natural geography of “Solomon Islands”). For example, Bougainville Island is geographically a Solomon Island, but is now part of Papua New Guinea).

 In the past, during the Japan-U.S. War, Japanese and U.S. forces fought to the death over the island of Gadarkanal, the center of the Solomon Islands. Even after the U.S. Marines occupied Gadarkanal Island, a Navy land attack plane, which was flown by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who was directly deployed to encourage the Japanese defenders who were trying to defend the northern Solomon Islands to the death, was shot down by the U.S. fighter force (Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands is located on Gadarkanal Island). (Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, is located on the island of Gadar Canal. (Honiara International Airport is the Henderson Airfield, which was built by the Japanese in 1942 and later occupied by the U.S. Marines.)

 Nearly 80 years later, the Solomon Islands remain a strategic point for the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.

Security Treaty with China

 In 2019, the Solomon Islands government switched diplomatic relations with Beijing from Taiwan, with which it had previously had diplomatic relations. And today, many of the stores lining the main street of the capital Honiara are run by recently immigrated Chinese.

 Recently, a document was leaked to the Internet suggesting that such a new security treaty between the Solomon Islands and China is in the works.

The document, titled “Framework Agreement on Security Cooperation,” states that the Solomon Islands government may request that the Chinese government deploy armed police and troops to quell unrest among the Solomon Islands people, including for humanitarian aid disaster relief.

 It also states that the Solomon Islands government may authorize Chinese naval vessels to dock in the Solomon Islands to protect the safety of Chinese nationals and major projects in the Solomon Islands.

 Neither the Solomon Islands government nor the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has commented on the leaked document, but the Australian press has confirmed that the document is not “fake. According to the Lowy Institute (an Australian think tank), “This treaty would be a much stronger and much broader security agreement than any China has signed with any Pacific island nation. As a result, there is a growing sense of urgency in Australia that one of its closest neighbors will come under Beijing’s control.

The Biden Administration’s “Indo-Pacific Focus” is Fake

 The Chinese Communist Party government and People’s Liberation Army, which are building a strategy to realize China’s traditional “win without fighting,” researching and analyzing the causes of Japanese military failures, and warning the US that “China is not like Japan,” may gain military superiority in the Solomon Islands, where Japan and the US fought a fierce battle, without fighting.

 In contrast, the Biden administration, preoccupied with the war in Ukraine, is turning a blind eye to China’s moves.

 The Kishida administration should recognize that the Biden administration’s “emphasis on the Indo-Pacific” is a “fake,” and seek ways to wean itself as quickly as possible from its position as a “half-subject” of the United States. We should seek ways to leave the U.S. “semi-subject” position as soon as possible.

After this article was written, on March 30, the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China announced that the above security agreement is expected to be concluded.

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