The Solomon Islands came under the spotlight earlier this year when the country signed a security pact with China in April, which came as a shock to the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

The new treaty itself has not been made public. However, what appeared to be a draft of the deal that had been leaked through social media in late March can be interpreted as allowing China to dock warships regularly in the Solomon Islands and deploy its police and soldiers to the islands to help maintain order.

The U.S., Australia and New Zealand are increasingly on alert, viewing the latest signing of the treaty as Beijing’s attempt to gain a military foothold in the South Pacific.