China plans security, economic cooperation with Pacific island nations: report

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According to reports, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is set to engage Pacific island nations in cooperation related to data communication, security and policing. Reports claim that the plan also includes a free trade agreement with Pacific nations.

The Chinese foreign minister is expected to visit Pacific island countries, including the Solomon Islands, and visits are expected to continue until June 4.

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Reports indicate that Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong will visit several countries in the coming weeks, even as Wang Yi engages with countries in the Pacific.

China reportedly sent an action plan to at least ten Pacific island nations ahead of Wang’s visit. The draft document titled: Common Vision of Development between China and Pacific Island Countries was sent to various countries ahead of the foreign ministers’ meeting in Fiji, according to reports.

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The visionary plan aims to “strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the fields of traditional and non-traditional security” and to organize intermediate and high-level police training for the Pacific islands.

Access to the Chinese market is also on offer as Beijing seeks to play a greater role in the Pacific region. However, Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo warned that the deal would allow China “to gain access and control of our region”.

(With agency contributions)

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