Analysts have dubbed Australia's upcoming elections a "khaki election" - one influenced by war-time rhetoric - as incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison has zeroed in on rising security tensions in the Pacific islands during the final months of his campaign.
The tension came after the Solomon Islands — a small nation to the northeast of Australia, where the United States lost around 7,000 troops in an island-hopping campaign against Japan in World War II — signed a security pact with China in April that would allow Beijing to deploy armed police and military personnel to the island, according to a draft of the document leaked by opposition parties.
Although Sogavare has repeatedly said that his government will not permit China to militarize, there is still concern over whether China’s new Pacific posting would operate as a military base in all but name. It’s hard to tell whether China will use its new foothold in the Solomon Islands as “bases,” ports with the capacity to fuel and service ships, or “places,” where commercial ships can dock, said Jacob Stokes, a fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
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