China

China says it has 'no intention' of building military base in Solomon Islands

He made the comments after arriving in Solomon Islands on Thursday — his first stop on eight-nation tour of the Pacific during which he is seeking a sweeping regional deal on security and trade.

The Chinese minister dismissed international concerns about the security agreement Beijing sealed last month with Honiara, saying it was "above board, with honesty and integrity".

"It is not imposed on anyone, nor is it targeted at any third party," Mr Wang told a news conference after meeting with Solomon Islands Foreign Minister, Jeremiah Manele.

More details on China’s high-level delegation visit to the Pacific

A statement on Monday said, "Mr Wang and his almost 20 member delegation will spend a day in Honiara, attending various high-level meetings, courtesy calls on the Prime Minister and acting Governor-General, and hosting a press conference alongside his counterpart, Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele."

It said "the highlight of the visit is the signing of several key bilateral agreements with the national government."

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the visit by Mr Wang will be a milestone in the Solomon Islands-China relationship.

Nine people arrested in China over Changsha building collapse

Police said the building's owner was detained, along with three others responsible for its construction.

Another five were charged with writing a false safety report for the building, which collapsed on Friday.

The cause of the disaster has not been confirmed by authorities.

On Saturday President Xi Jinping called for a search "at all cost" and ordered an investigation into the collapse in the city's Wangcheng District.

Six people have been rescued, but dozens are still trapped inside or unaccounted for, according to Changsha Mayor Zheng Jianxin.

Vanuatu receives more Covid vaccines from China

This was the third batch of Covid-19 vaccines sent by China, bringing the total number of vaccines donated to Vanuatu to 200,000. This makes China the largest single donor of Covid-19 vaccines to Vanuatu.

Sinopharm was the second vaccine introduced in Vanuatu, after AstraZeneca. The first batch of 20,000 doses and second batch of 80,000 doses were received in June and October last year with medical supplies.

China did not only donated vaccines and supplies, it also provided an amount of VT27 million (US$236,766) to support government’s efforts in combating Covid-19.

Concerns voiced on security pact between China and Solomons

In a meeting on Friday, US National Security Council Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell conveyed Washington DC's concerns with the treaty.

Campbell told Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare the United States respected the right of nations to make sovereign decisions but warned if steps are taken by China to establish a de facto permanent military presence in the country the United States would have significant concerns and respond accordingly.

Sogavare adamant security deal with China won't undermine regional security

In parliament on Wednesday, Manasseh Sogavare confirmed the controversial security agreement with China had been signed despite strong opposition to the deal from the other side of the house.

The pact, a draft of which was first leaked online last month, raised domestic and regional anxieties about Beijing's increasing influence in the South Pacific.

It's feared it could open the door to China's military presence in Honiara - a claim rejected both by China and Solomon Islands.

China and Solomon Islands sign security pact

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin announced the agreement in Beijing, saying it would involve China cooperating with Honiara on maintaining social order, protecting people's safety, aid, combating natural disasters and helping safeguard national security.

Solomon Islands Foreign Affairs Minister Jeremiah Manele confirmed the signing of the pact to the ABC in a text message.

He said Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare would make a formal announcement in the coming days.

Solomon Islands security deal with China 'quite unfortunate' - Helen Clark

A draft security alliance between China and the Solomon Islands has prompted fear of a possible Chinese military base in the islands.

But Clark says the Pacific must stay together and any outside deals with security will always be alarming.

"There's been a history in the South Pacific that we help each other out and so I think anyone else coming in, signing a defence and security pact, this is going to raise many, many, many eyebrows. I personally think it's quite unfortunate because the Pacific family likes to work together."

Australian spy chiefs meet with Solomon Islands PM over China deal

Late Wednesday, Sogavare's office issued a statement revealing he'd hosted a "positive" meeting with a special envoy sent by the Australian government.

Sogavare's office said the men discussed "Australia's core security concerns" about the security agreement, which Australia fears could lay the legal groundwork for a Chinese military presence in Solomon Islands.

Chinese, Vanuatu presidents exchange congratulations on 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties

In his message, Xi said that since China and Vanuatu established diplomatic ties 40 years ago, bilateral relations have been tested by the changing international situation, political mutual trust between the two countries has been ever deepening, and bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields have yielded fruitful results, bringing tangible benefits to people of the two countries.