United States concerned with China’s security deal

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United States Embassy chargé d’affaires Tony Greubel during an interview at the US Embassy in Suva on Wednesday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The United States says it had concerns with China’s rushed and non-transparent security agreement with the Solomon Islands, says US Embassy chargé d’affaires Tony Greubel.

“Something like that can have potential of a major impact on the stability of the region,” he said.

“So I respectfully disagree with accusations that we don’t want to see Chinese influence in the region.”

He said the US welcomed Chinese investment and engagement in the region as long as it was “sustainable and done in a transparent, non-rushed way”.

Mr Greubel also refuted recent claims by the Chinese ambassador that the US had footsteps everywhere in the world and their real purpose was to control and dominate.

“We’ve done what we can to promote stability and security in the region so that nations can prosper, so they can focus on that, so there’s no fighting in the region.

“Pacific Island Countries cooperate with one another when they have differences of opinion that other regions of the world go to war and in the Pacific you have the Pacific way of settling your arguments.”

He said since 1945, the US had helped maintain and promote international rules based order to prevent crises through the United Nations in the Pacific.

Mr Greubel said the US could only advise and express their opinions respectfully to Fiji and other Pacific nations regardless of whether it was regarding China or Japan.

“We all have our national interest and we’re all talking and communicating this way.

“Fiji will make decisions based upon their national interest and it’s not up to us.

“They can decide on who in their national interest to trade with, who to accept economic development assistance from and so on.”

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