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a United States Coast Guard The cutter, which was patrolling an international mission in the Pacific Ocean, was denied entry to a port in the Solomon Islands, raising concerns about China’s growing influence in the region.
The Honolulu Coast Guard office said Cutter Oliver Henry was participating in Operation Chief Pacific Fishing Activities Monitor, which ended Friday, when it sought a scheduled stop in Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, for refueling and resupply. .
The Coast Guard said there was no response from the Solomon Islands government to obtain diplomatic permission for the ship to stop there, so Oliver Henry turned to Papua New Guinea.
In addition, it was reported that a British ship He was also denied entry, but the British Royal Navy did not comment directly on those reports.
During Operation Head Island, the United States, Australia, Britain and New Zealand It provided support through aerial and surface surveillance of the Pacific island nations involved in the operation, including the Solomon Islands.
China has been resolutely trying to expand its presence and influence in the Pacific, and the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavari, alarmed some neighbors, the United States and others after he signed a new security agreement with China.
The agreement raised fears of a Chinese naval base It is being built 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi) off the northeastern coast of Australia. The Chinese military presence in the Solomon Islands would not only put them on the doorstep of Australia and New Zealand, but also very close to Guam, the US territory that hosts major military bases.
“China is gaining ground in its efforts to gain hegemony in the Pacific,” the former United States Department of Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary of State James Hutton tweeted in response to the news.
“China is running now Solomon IslandsGordon J. Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, posted on Twitter.
The White House He did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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