US Opens Solomon Islands Embassy

    US Opens Solomon Islands Embassy
    Last updated Feb 02, 2023
    Image credit: Associated Press


    • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday that the US has opened an embassy in Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands, after a 30-year absence in which the US was represented there by an ambassador based in Papua New Guinea.[1]
    • Diplomat Russell Corneau, who has been in the Solomon Islands since October 2021, has been appointed to continue as the US diplomatic representative to the Pacific Island nation.[2]
    • The US previously operated an embassy in the Solomon Islands for five years before closing it in 1993 due to a global reduction in diplomatic posts in the wake of the end of the Cold War.[3]
    • This opening comes as the US seeks to increase its engagement in the Pacific to counter China's strategic push into the region, including by donating COVID vaccines and investing in forestry and tourism projects.[3]
    • Plans to re-establish the US embassy had been first announced last year amid mounting concerns about China's military ambitions in the region before Washington was surprised by the signing of a security deal between China and the Solomon Islands.[4]
    • In September, Pres. Biden hosted Pacific island leaders, including the Solomons PM Manasseh Sogavare, in a summit at which he vowed to help prevent Beijing's alleged "economic coercion" and to address the regions' needs. A joint declaration praising democracy and partnership with the US was endorsed by 14 Pacific island states.[5]


    Anti-China narrative

    The decision is a move to counter China's increasingly aggressive stance in the region, with Beijing expanding its military presence in the Indo-Pacific. The move is viewed as a necessary response to China's security pact with the Solomon Islands last year, and US diplomatic relations in the "Blue Continent" must improve.

    Pro-China narrative

    The US's diplomatic campaign in the South Pacific is an attempt to restore its geostrategic hegemony, regardless of the devastation Western enslavement has had historically in the region. Whilst China opposes the condescending approaches of the Western powers, basing their relationships on mutual respect and benefits, Biden and the US will continue to attempt to undermine such processes for their own self-interests.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 19% chance that there will be a US-China war by 2035, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split