Australia and New Zealand have expressed concern about a new policing agreement between China and the Solomon Islands that they say would undermine the Pacific’s agreed regional security norms.

Earlier this month, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Solomon Islands’ opposition parties called for Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to “immediately” publish details of the policing deal with Beijing, amid concern it would invite further regional contests.

Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese flew into the New Zealand capital Wellington on July 26 for talks on topics including climate, defense, and the economy with his New Zealand counterpart Chris Hipkins.

A joint statement issued after the talks called for transparency over the Solomon Islands-China policing deal.

“Leaders agreed it would be important for the Pacific Islands Forum to discuss these issues and encourage transparency, enabling the region to collectively consider the implications for our shared security,” it said.

Both leaders also expressed concern about “growing challenges to regional stability” in the Indo-Pacific, including the militarization of disputed areas of the South China Sea and tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

Continued dialogue with China, each country’s biggest trading partner, was important to manage differences, although the leaders expressed concerns about human rights violations in Xinjiang and the “systematic erosion” of freedom and rights in Hong Kong.

Australia and New Zealand also committed to updating a defense cooperation agreement first signed in 1991.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in New Zealand on July 26 as part of a regional tour that began in Tonga and included a stop in Australia. Blinken criticized China’s “problematic behavior” in the region during a news conference earlier in the day in Tonga.