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


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

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SYDNEY, June 15 (Reuters) – Australia’s international minister will journey to the Solomon Islands on Friday to satisfy with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare amid concern over the regional influence of a safety deal between the Pacific islands nation and China.

International Minister Penny Wong stated in a information launch that she would journey to the Solomon Islands and New Zealand, in her third go to to the Pacific since being sworn in final month. read more

Australia was dedicated to deepening cooperation with the Solomon Islands on shared challenges together with local weather change, and Wong would meet with Sogavare, the assertion stated.

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“I stay up for discussing the methods we will proceed to make progress on pandemic restoration, financial improvement and labour mobility priorities, and addressing our shared safety pursuits,” she stated.

The Solomon Islands safety pact, in addition to a proposal by China for a sweeping safety and commerce settlement with 10 Pacific islands nations, will likely be mentioned at subsequent month’s Pacific Islands Discussion board leaders assembly in Suva, a number of island nations have stated.

China’s international minister, Wang Yi, met with Sogavare in Honiara final month, as a part of an eight-nation Pacific tour, agreeing to deepen cooperation between China and Solomon Islands in fisheries, mining, infrastructure and commerce.

Wang stated the safety pact with the Solomon Islands would enhance policing and defend Chinese language residents and establishments there.

“China helps Pacific Island nations in strengthening safety cooperation and dealing collectively to deal with regional safety challenges,” he stated throughout the go to. read more

Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the USA have stated they’re involved Beijing may set up a army presence within the Pacific, though Sogavare has denied the pact would enable a army base.

Fiji advised a safety convention in Singapore over the weekend that local weather change was probably the most urgent safety concern for the Pacific islands.

In New Zealand, Wong will talk about regional safety and local weather change along with her counterpart. “New Zealand is an indispensable accomplice in our ambitions for a stronger Pacific household,” she stated.

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Reporting by Kirsty Needham. Enhancing by Gerry Doyle

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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