ALJAZEERA – 12 Feb 2022
Washington promises more diplomatic and security resources to the South Pacific region as China’s influence grows
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed the United States plans to open an embassy in the South Pacific nation of Solomon Islands in an effort to counter China’s influence in the politically troubled Pacific Islands.
The announcement on Saturday comes as Blinken visits Fiji for talks with Pacific Islands leaders, with Washington promising more diplomatic and security resources to the region.
In a notification to Congress, the State Department said Solomon Islanders cherished their history with Americans on the battlefields of World War II, but that the US was in danger of losing its preferential ties as China “aggressively seeks to engage” elite politicians and business people in the Solomon Islands.
The move comes after rioting rocked the nation of 700,000 in November. The riots grew from a peaceful protest and highlighted long-simmering regional rivalries, economic problems and concerns about the country’s increasing links with China. Rioters set fire to buildings and looted stores.
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE : US to reopen Solomon Islands embassy amid moves to counter China | News | Al Jazeera