Australia’s foreign minister Wong to travel to Solomon Islands amid concern over China security pact

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Young children fish at a seashore in central Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, on September 14, 2012.. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

SYDNEY, June 15 (Reuters) – Australia’s overseas minister will travel to the Solomon Islands on Friday to meet up with with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare amid concern above the regional influence of a security offer involving the Pacific islands nation and China.

International Minister Penny Wong reported in a news release that she would vacation to the Solomon Islands and New Zealand, in her 3rd take a look at to the Pacific considering that currently being sworn in last thirty day period. read through far more

Australia was fully commited to deepening cooperation with the Solomon Islands on shared worries such as local climate modify, and Wong would meet up with with Sogavare, the assertion reported.

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“I search forward to discussing the ways we can continue to make progress on pandemic restoration, financial development and labour mobility priorities, and addressing our shared protection pursuits,” she claimed.

The Solomon Islands protection pact, as nicely as a proposal by China for a sweeping stability and trade arrangement with 10 Pacific islands nations, will be reviewed at subsequent month’s Pacific Islands Discussion board leaders conference in Suva, various island nations have reported.

China’s overseas minister, Wang Yi, fulfilled with Sogavare in Honiara last month, as portion of an eight-country Pacific tour, agreeing to deepen cooperation amongst China and Solomon Islands in fisheries, mining, infrastructure and trade.

Wang stated the stability pact with the Solomon Islands would enhance policing and defend Chinese citizens and establishments there.

“China supports Pacific Island international locations in strengthening protection cooperation and working alongside one another to tackle regional safety problems,” he stated in the course of the take a look at. read through a lot more

Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States have stated they are anxious Beijing could build a navy existence in the Pacific, whilst Sogavare has denied the pact would make it possible for a army foundation.

Fiji explained to a protection conference in Singapore around the weekend that climate change was the most urgent safety worry for the Pacific islands.

In New Zealand, Wong will talk about regional protection and climate modify with her counterpart. “New Zealand is an indispensable partner in our ambitions for a much better Pacific relatives,” she stated.

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Reporting by Kirsty Needham. Editing by Gerry Doyle

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