Wong follows in the footsteps of his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and travels several days to the Pacific. Beijing seeks to expand its influence in the region and signed a defense agreement with the Solomon Islands last month, which deceived Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Australia has said the deal will open up China’s military base on the island’s northeastern island. This is the first time Chinese naval vessels have been stationed in this part of the Pacific Ocean.
According to leaked documents, China, among others, expects a free trade agreement with the ten island states and offers millions of euros in aid. The country can train local police, increase access to natural resources and map sensitive maritime areas.
“We have publicly expressed our concerns about this agreement,” Wong said in Suva, the capital of Fiji. He stressed that good relations with Beijing have repercussions for the island states. “We believe it is important that the security of the region is determined by the region.”
Chinese Minister Wang, who visited the Solomon Islands on Thursday, criticized the recently passed security agreement. He argued and criticized the deal as unjustly “tainted”.
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