China’s government announced on April 19 that it had signed a landmark security pact with the Solomon Islands, evoking concern from Australia and the US. The agreement is the first of its kind that China has agreed with any country, and underlines its ambitions to play a security role in the Pacific. The final version has not been made public. It will pave the way for China to deploy its security forces there. The Solomon Islands can 1 request police and military personnel “to assist in maintaining social order”, while China can make ship visits and use its ports for logistics. This will give China’s vessels a strategic foothold in the Pacific, in a region close to Australia and Guam, where the US has a naval base. Both countries unsurprisingly expressed concern, with Washington, even dispatching a senior official to the Solomon Islands, who will take up the pact as well as plans to reopen the US Embassy there.
The significance of the pact extends beyond the immediate regional security concerns in the Pacific. The Solomon Islands government said the agreement does not imply China will build a base there. The pact does, however, relate to a second key pillar of China’s avowed “peaceful rise” doctrine, which was, as popularised by “Panchsheel” or the “five principles of peaceful coexistence”-the “non-interference” in the internal affairs of other countries. The deployment of security forces in a foreign country certainly does not square with that idea. China has already begun to do so elsewhere, albeit on a limited scale. China’s past commitments on military bases and non-interference were intended to show the world Beijing would not seek to become a global “hegemon”, its favoured term to describe the US.
1. China’s objective of signing a security pact with Solomon Islands is
(a) to contribute in ensuring security in the Pacific.
(b) to extend its territory.
(c) to develop Solomon Islands.
(d) to provide financial aid in enhancing security measures in the Pacific.
2. The Pact symbolises China’s doctrine of
(a) advancing financial support to countries.
(b) deployment of security forces wherever needed.
(c) advancement of defence technology.
(d) principles of peaceful coexistence.
3. Which one of the following is implied by ‘Beijing would not seek to become a global hegemon’?
(a) Beijing would aspire to become a strong ruler.
(b) Beijing is ambitious of becoming a
(c) Beijing is not aspiring to have control over the world.
(d) Beijing will play an important role in world politics.
4. What does ‘square with that idea’ imply in the passage ?
(a) Having multiple ideas
(b) Not in agreement with the idea
(c) Imposing personal views on others
(d) Agreeing with the multiple views
5. What does ‘strategic foothold’ imply in the passage?
(a) Valid entry
(b) Planned access
(c) Legitimate passage
(d) Sanctioned routes