BEIJING (Reuters) – China hopes relations with the Solomon Islands can be a model for other Pacific Island countries, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said on Thursday, as he starts a regional tour.
Wang arrived in Solomon Islands on Thursday to kick off a 10-day tour of eight Pacific islands countries, a move closely watched by Australia and the United States as an indication of China’s rising influence in the region.
Wang said Solomon Islands gained a “sincere and reliable partner” when it established diplomatic relations with China, according to a statement on the foreign ministry website. Solomon Islands switched ties from Taiwan to China in 2019.
China will seek a region-wide deal with almost a dozen Pacific island countries covering policing, security and data communication cooperation when Wang hosts a meeting in Fiji next week, documents seen by Reuters showed.
(Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)