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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Chinese foreign minister arrives in Solomon Islands amid concern over security deal

  • May 26, 2022
  • , Kyodo News
  • JMH Summary

Kyodo News reported from Sydney that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in the Solomon Islands on Thursday at a time when concerns are mounting over China’s increasing military clout in the region following a controversial security pact signed by the two countries last month. Hours after Wang touched down in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) reported on leaked documents revealing that China is seeking a region-wide agreement with almost a dozen Pacific island countries, covering areas including security, trade, and data communication. A draft communique and five-year action plan were sent by China to ten Pacific island nations that have diplomatic ties with Beijing ahead of Wang’s planned meeting with his counterparts of these nations on May 30, according to ABC. Wang is on an eight-country tour of the Pacific islands. Kyodo said that Wang’s visit comes after China and the Solomon Islands signed a security deal that reportedly allows the deployment of Chinese police, military, and other armed personnel, as well as the docking of the Asian nation’s ships in the islands. According to ABC, the two leaked documents laid out a plan to expand cooperation on policing and proposed a new free trade arrangement between China and the Pacific, as well as the appointment of a new Chinese government envoy to the region.

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