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

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

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SYDNEY, June 15 (Reuters) – Australia’s overseas minister will travel to the Solomon Islands on Friday to meet with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare amid issue over the regional impact of a safety deal involving the Pacific islands country and China.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong explained in a information release that she would travel to the Solomon Islands and New Zealand, in her third check out to the Pacific due to the fact currently being sworn in last month. browse additional

Australia was dedicated to deepening cooperation with the Solomon Islands on shared worries which include local weather adjust, and Wong would fulfill with Sogavare, the statement claimed.

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“I search forward to discussing the methods we can carry on to make progress on pandemic recovery, financial advancement and labour mobility priorities, and addressing our shared safety pursuits,” she reported.

The Solomon Islands protection pact, as nicely as a proposal by China for a sweeping protection and trade settlement with 10 Pacific islands nations, will be reviewed at next month’s Pacific Islands Discussion board leaders meeting in Suva, several island nations have stated.

China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, satisfied with Sogavare in Honiara very last month, as component of an 8-country Pacific tour, agreeing to deepen cooperation among China and Solomon Islands in fisheries, mining, infrastructure and trade.

Wang reported the stability pact with the Solomon Islands would make improvements to policing and secure Chinese citizens and institutions there.

“China supports Pacific Island international locations in strengthening stability cooperation and doing the job together to handle regional protection difficulties,” he stated all through the stop by. go through extra

Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States have reported they are worried Beijing could create a armed forces existence in the Pacific, although Sogavare has denied the pact would let a navy foundation.

Fiji informed a stability convention in Singapore around the weekend that local weather improve was the most urgent safety problem for the Pacific islands.

In New Zealand, Wong will talk about regional safety and local weather adjust with her counterpart. “New Zealand is an indispensable partner in our ambitions for a more robust Pacific family members,” she stated.

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Reporting by Kirsty Needham. Enhancing by Gerry Doyle

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