tirsdag 24. mai 2022

China’s foreign minister to visit Solomon Islands amid push for more deals with Pacific countries

China’s foreign minister will visit Solomon Islands this week, one month after signing a security agreement with the Pacific country, on a broader tour where China is seeking more deals in the region.

Wang Yi would visit Honiara with a “nearly 20-member delegation”, the Solomons’ government confirmed on Tuesday, calling the trip a “milestone”. “The highlight of the visit is the signing of a number of key bilateral agreements with the national government,” said Li Ming, China’s ambassador to Solomon Islands. Among agreements expected to be signed is the controversial security agreement between the countries that made headlines in March after a draft was leaked. News of the deal led to fears China could establish a military base in the islands, though this has been denied by both parties.

The Solomon Islands’ prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, said the Chinese foreign minister’s one-day visit would be a “milestone” in the two countries’ relationship.