It has been eight decades since the Battle for Guadalcanal was fought between Allied Forces and the Japanese Imperial Army.

Today, the Solomon Islands are again at the center of a Pacific power game — one that pits the U.S. and its strategic partners against their latest adversary, China.

News that the People’s Republic and the Solomons had signed a framework agreement on security cooperation was met with significant unease Tuesday in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand, where officials fear it could pave the way for a Chinese naval base in the Pacific. (The World War II fight over Guadalcanal, the Solomons’ main island, was sparked by Tokyo’s decision in 1942 to move in troops and laborers to construct an airfield, which would have given Japan an advantage in the Pacific theater.)