Canberra must walk a delicate line when responding to challenges presented by Beijing and Solomons’ security agreement
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As China makes progress on a security deal with Solomon Islands, the Australian government is anxious not to be seen to have “dropped the ball” in the Pacific region. That would be a tad embarrassing, given it has spent the past few years sounding the alarm about security threats from China while also trumpeting its own “Pacific Step-Up”.
The deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, has been one of the ministers on the defensive after leaked documents revealed the draft agreement between China and the Pacific island nation.