Thursday, November 30, 2023

Solomon Islands holds Pacific Games with China’s support | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News

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The Solomon Islands is hosting an international sports event, which is funded largely by China. Beyond the sports, the event underscores deepening political and security ties between the island nation and China.

The Pacific Games opened on Sunday in the capital Honiara. Some 5,000 athletes from 24 countries and territories are taking part in the event, known as an Olympics for Pacific island nations.

In the opening ceremony, Solomon Island’s Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare highlighted the contributions made by partner countries, especially the largest donor China.

Beijing provided nearly 120 million dollars of funding for the event. That accounts for 80 percent of all foreign aid received.

China also deployed a number of police officers to provide security. Their presence is prominent around the venues.

China pledged its highest amount of aid for the Solomon Islands in 2019, when the country switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing.

The two also signed a security agreement last year.

The US, Australia, New Zealand and other regional powers are concerned that the deal could lead to an increased Chinese military presence in the Pacific.

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