At the the Pacific Security Cooperation Workshop hosted at ANU in Canberra, the issue of China looking for military bases on Pacific islands is being discussed on day two of the program. One point was that these can be dual use facilities, which have an overtly civilian role. Examples are docks and airfields for civilian use, but which also can have a military role. There was also mention of China's Belt and Road Initiative. One more lighthearted was speculation that Chinese police were training Solomon Islands people in Kung Fu as a form of soft power, because Bruce Lee is better known than anything else about China.
"China’s proposed economic and security pact and Pacific responses
(Moderator: Professor Hidekazu Sakai)
Dr Henry Ivarature, Australia Pacific Security College
Pete Connolly, Australian National University
Dr Anna Powles, Massey University
Dr Joseph Foukona, University of Hawai’i – Mānoa
- What are the implications of the Solomon Islands-China security agreement for security cooperation in Solomon Islands?
- What issues arise from China’s efforts to secure a regional economic and security pact?
- What do the responses of Pacific Island countries to China’s overtures tell us about the future of regional security cooperation?
- What are the implications of geopolitical discussions about China at the local level?"