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China Deepens Ties With Solomons in Race to Win Over Pacific

Wang Yi, left, with his counterpart Jeremiah Manele in Honiara, Solomon Islands, on May 26.
Wang Yi, left, with his counterpart Jeremiah Manele in Honiara, Solomon Islands, on May 26.Photographer: STR/AFP

China and the Solomon Islands committed to deeper economic ties following their recent security pact that’s alarmed Australia and spurred its new government to seek closer relations with its Pacific neighbors.

The two nations signed an agreement allowing China to work with the Pacific nation’s aviation, tourism and business sectors, the Solomons government said in a statement following China Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit this week. They also agreed on deeper cooperation in infrastructure, marine industries and energy, while a visa waiver exemption agreement was signed to facilitate closer engagement and movement of diplomats and officials.