On Saturday, a US official said President Joe Biden will host the leaders of the Pacific Islands at the White House next September, against the backdrop of US efforts aimed at countering China’s growing influence in the region.
United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who is visiting the Polynesian state of Tonga, mentioned that Pacific island leaders will be invited to Washington for a meeting and dinner late next month, and spoke of a “historic opportunity” for dialogue.
This initiative is part of a wave of US diplomatic moves aimed at strengthening relations in the Pacific in the face of China, which has established its presence in the region.
The US, in particular, announced the opening of diplomatic missions on the islands, Secretary of State Antony Blinken also visited the region and Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the Pacific Islands Forum.
Sherman also participates today, Saturday, in a series of events in the neighboring Solomon Islands, and these events are dedicated to celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II.
Last April, the Solomon Islands signed a security agreement with Beijing, which raises concerns for the United States and its allies.
The details of the agreement were not announced, but a leaked draft indicated that it would allow Chinese naval deployment in these islands, and both China and the Solomon Islands denied any plans to establish a Chinese military base.