FM Wang to visit South Pacific island states as China aims for influence in region

Under the watchful eye of the United States, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to South Pacific island nations starting Thursday to strengthen ties with the tiny but strategically located island nations.

Wang Yi’s schedule includes visits to the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and East Timor from May 26 to June 4.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that Wang would meet with the prime ministers and foreign ministers of the Cook Islands and Niue via video, and chair the second meeting of foreign ministers. China-Pacific island countries in Fiji.

Wang’s trip will focus on cooperation and agreements in many areas, including economy, infrastructure, climate change, public health, police and security.

“The reason why China’s presence has been welcomed by countries in the region is that China could promote people’s livelihoods and activate the economic potential of these islands, experts said. However, some media Westerners focused only on security cooperation, and tried to exaggerate that cooperation could trigger a new cold war between China and the West in the region,” state media Global Times said in a statement. a report.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Wang Wenbin said that Wang Yi’s visit to the South Pacific is aimed at deepening the friendly and cooperative relations between China and relevant countries, and contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia-Pacific.

“I totally disagree with some people’s sensational statements. I would like to take this opportunity to share some facts about China-PIP cooperation with you,” he added.

The United States, which had previously raised concerns over the China-Solomon Islands security pact, warned South Pacific nations to be wary of “shady” deals with China, which has presented a package measures to significantly expand cooperation.

“We are concerned that these reported agreements could be negotiated in a rushed and non-transparent process,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

He added that China has a habit of offering vague and non-transparent agreements.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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