Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on Australia’s national broadcaster Sunday, April 24, that Solomon should be “really careful” in its security agreement with China.

Joyce had taken Solomon’s word that the islands would not allow China to build a naval base there. He went on to talk about China wanting to build a Solomon military base.

He said, “[China wants] to. There’s no doubt about that because we see what they did in the South China Sea where they said they weren’t going to militarize.”

He added, “Obviously for the Solomons, I take their word but I say be really careful to invite a totalitarian power into your country because it’s going to affect your sovereignty.”

Joyce suggested that Australia would join the U.S. to respond if Beijing maintained any military presence in the Pacific island nation.

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