USCGC Oliver Henry was patrolling the South Pacific in an effort to counter illegal fishing on behalf of the Regional Fisheries Agency. He was not allowed to enter the port of Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, where he was to refuel as planned – reported the press service of the US coast guard.
The Solomon Islands government did not respond to a request for comment.
Relations between Solomon Islands and the United States and its allies have been strained since the Honorable government signed a security agreement with the communist authorities in Beijing in May. Commentators expressed concerns that this could allow China to increase its military influence off key Pacific sea routes.
The American ship, which could not refuel in the Solomon Islands, was instead sent to Papua New Guinea, the US Coast Guard said.
Reuters reminds you of reports circulating on social media that refueling opportunities in the Solomon Islands British ship HMS Spey was also deniedwho is also involved in Operation Island Chief. It aims to combat illegal fishing in the EEZ of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The British Navy declined to comment on the matter.
Authorities in Honiara and Beijing ensure that the agreement signed in May does not serve to build a Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands, but according to the draft of this document, leaked to the media, Chinese navy ships would be able to call at the port and replenish supplies.
Source: niezalezna.pl, PAP