China’s high-level ‘milestone’ visit to the Pacific ahead of schedule

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi ... Pacific influencing travel includes Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. Image: MFA/Chinese govt

RNZ Pacific

The Solomon Islands government has confirmed the much anticipated high-level visit by the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the country is ahead of schedule this week.

A statement yesterday said: “Mr Wang and his almost 20 member delegation will spend a day in Honiara, attending various high-level meetings, courtesy calls on the Prime Minister and acting Governor-General, and hosting a press conference alongside his counterpart, Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele.”

It said “the highlight of the visit is the signing of several key bilateral agreements with the national government”.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the visit by Wang will be a milestone in the Solomon Islands-China relationship.

The ABC reports that the foreign minister will arrive in Honiara late on Wednesday night, and he will have meetings with Sogavare and other senior leaders on Thursday.

He is also expected to visit Fiji on Sunday and Monday, and Papua New Guinea next week Thursday and Friday.

According to the ABC, Wang will also have plans to travel to other Pacific Islands nations, including Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, and Kiribati, as part of China’s efforts to increase its influence in the region.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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