China’s Security Deal With Solomon Islands Endangers Australia

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare
SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images

China’s Security Deal With Solomon Islands Endangers Australia

The move furthers China’s quest to dominate vital shipping lanes in the South Pacific.

The leader of Solomon Islands said on March 29 that he is close to signing a security pact with China that analysts fear could let the Chinese establish a military presence on the island nation.

A leaked draft of the pact states that it would allow China to “send police, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement and armed forces to Solomon Islands to assist in maintaining social order, protecting people’s lives and property.” The draft also says the deal could let China dock naval ships in Solomon Islands.

It was only in 2019 that Beijing convinced Solomon Islands, an archipelago nation of 690,000 off Australia’s east coast, to switch its diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China. The Trumpet noted at the time that the move furthered “China’s quest to dominate vital shipping lanes in the South Pacific.” Now the new agreement confirms that the Islands could soon host all manner of Chinese forces and give Beijing a strategic new location from which to project power in the region.

Solomon Islander Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare assured his nation’s parliament that he had “no devious intention, no secret plan” in signing the pact. But the agreement has set off alarms throughout the Pacific, particularly in Australia.

Mihai Sora, an analyst with the Lowy Institute in Australia, said “the scope” of the deal allows China to “deploy any kind of personnel … and it’s not clearly defined the parameters of deployment or the authority those forces would have.” He added: “Up until now, Australia and other Pacific countries have enjoyed being in a benign zone and having the freedom to move within our zone in the Pacific. So this brings in a clear, hard strategic edge to that competition.”

A recent Defense White Paper plainly explained the danger of Solomon Islands and neighboring nations becoming military hubs for China: “Australia cannot be secure if our immediate neighborhood, including Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and Pacific Island countries, becomes a source of threat to Australia. This includes the threat of a foreign military power seeking influence in ways that could challenge the security of our maritime approaches ….”

We wrote in June 2019 that the strategic location of Solomon Islands and neighboring nations is why China is targeting them: “Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands sit astride the most vital shipping lanes in Australasia. If China is able to militarize these shipping lanes, it will be able to isolate Australia and become master of the South Pacific.”

A Chinese ability to overpower Australian and American influence to become “master” of this region aligns with the forecasts of Bible prophecy.

Possessing the ‘Gates’

Genesis 22:17 records God’s promise to Abraham that his “descendants” would one day “take possession of the gates of their enemies” (International Standard Version).

In The United States and Britain in Prophecy, the late Herbert W. Armstrong proved that the peoples of the United States and United Kingdom—including British Commonwealth countries such as Australia—are the modern-day descendants of Abraham’s grandson Israel and Israel’s son Joseph. Mr. Armstrong showed that this promise in Genesis 22:17 was fulfilled before World War ii, when the U.S. and UK came to control all major gates, such as the Panama and Suez canals, as well as numerous minor gates, such as the Solomon Islands.

“[T]hese descendants of Joseph” became “numerous” and “encircled the globe” and came to “possess the ‘gates’ of enemy nations,” Mr. Armstrong wrote. “Britain and America came into possession of every such major ‘gate’ in this world!”

Based on this passage in Genesis 22, Mr. Armstrong said the fact that the UK and U.S. came to control these strategic oceanic locations proved that these countries are the descendants of Abraham’s family. “[W]e must be modern Israel,” he wrote.

America and Britain used their control over these locations to defeat aggressor powers during both world wars, including a major campaign from Solomon Islands in World War ii that resulted in a decisive loss for Japan. In peacetime, the U.S. and Britain used their control over such locations to keep the world’s shipping lanes open and relatively stable—to the benefit of all countries.

But the Bible also prophesied that Britain and the U.S. would later lose their hold of these vital sea gates.

Losing the ‘Gates’

Deuteronomy 28:52 records God warning the descendants of Abraham that if they refused to turn to Him, He would cause their enemies to take control of the gates—and to weaponize that control against them: “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”

For this to come to pass, the U.S. and UK first had to lose control of the gates they had previously acquired. This has occurred in recent decades with the transfer of such holdings mainly to China. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains in Isaiah’s End-Time Vision how China and other powers will soon use their hold on these gates against the modern descendants of Israel. He writes:

[C]onsidering that China has come to possess most of the world’s strategic sea gates (which, ironically, at one time were held by Britain and America), we believe there may be a brief alliance between the German-led Holy Roman Empire and certain Asian powers (Russia, China, Japan—the kings of the east). Should Europe, the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, find a way to take advantage—even for a moment—of key resources and strategic holdings of China, Russia and Japan, it would have more than enough power to besiege the Anglo-Saxon nations and enslave them.

Mr. Flurry makes clear that the decline of the U.S. and Britain and the rise of China and other revisionist powers will lead to a time of unprecedented catastrophe for the American, British and Australian peoples—and for all countries. But he emphasizes that the suffering has a purpose: to teach the nations to love God’s law. And he stresses that the time of suffering will be quickly followed by an era of unprecedented peace. “Thank God,” he writes, “there is great news beyond the bad news.”

To learn more about the detailed Bible prophecies at the foundation of Mr. Armstrong’s and Mr. Flurry’s forecasts, and the hope that is at the heart of these prophecies, order your free copy of Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.