Wong is on a multi-day visit to the Pacific nations, following in the footsteps of fellow Chinese Wang Yi, who is also on tour. Beijing is trying to expand its influence in the region and last month signed a security treaty with the Solomon Islands, angering Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Australia said the treaty would likely open a military base to China in the island group, which is located in the northeast of the country. This may be the first time that Chinese naval ships can dock in this part of the Pacific Ocean.
According to the leaked documents, China is, among other things, looking for a free trade agreement with ten island nations and providing aid worth millions of euros. The state can also train local police, increase access to natural resources, and map sensitive marine areas.
“We have publicly expressed our concerns about this agreement,” Wong said in the Fijian capital, Suva. She emphasized that the rapprochement with Beijing has consequences for the island nations. We believe it is important that the security of the region is determined by the region itself.
During a visit to the Solomon Islands on Thursday, Chinese Minister Wang criticized the recently concluded security agreement. He said the treaty was “tarnished” and unfairly criticized.
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