Wellington: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed concern about the possible militarization of the Pacific after the Solomon Islands government signed a security partnership with China.

China has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Solomon Islands on "security cooperation" which allows Beijing to send law enforcement forces to the Islands.

The MoU on security cooperation between China and Solomon Islands was signed on March 18. It will allow China to send police, Armed Police, military personnel and other law enforcement forces to the Solomon Islands, on request, to assist in maintaining social order and accomplish other tasks agreed upon by both countries, said the report.

Under the provisions of the MoU, Chinese naval vessels can carry out logistical replenishments and Chinese armed forces can be moved to protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects in the Solomon Islands.

"We see such acts as the potential militarisation of the region and also see very little reason in terms of the Pacific security for such a need and such a presence," Ardern was quoted as saying by Radio NZ.

During the recent unrest in the Solomon Islands, both Australia and New Zealand had personnel, vessels and a presence there to support the country's stability, said Ardern.

She added that demonstrated there was no need to reach beyond this region for such support. The Solomon Islands had switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing from Taiwan in 2019, signalling China's growing influence in the Pacific.

Amid the reports about China's increasing military in the Solomon Islands, Beijing last week said both countries have developed conventional security cooperation that is in line with international law and international practice.

"China and the Solomon Islands, as two sovereign and independent states, develop conventional cooperation in the field of law and order, as well as security, on the basis of equal treatment and mutual benefit, which is in accordance with the international law and practice," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday.

Wang added that the appropriate cooperation contributes to maintaining public order in the Solomon Islands, promotes peace and stability in the region, as well as the common interests of China and other countries in the region.