Fearing China, an urgent American move in the Solomon Islands

Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken is scheduled to announce the opening of this new embassy in the Pacific archipelago during his visit, Saturday, to another country in the region, the Fiji Islands, according to a senior State Department official, after a few months of anti-China demonstrations in Honiara, the islands capital. Suleiman.

The US Embassy in Honiara closed in 1993 and maintained a consulate dependent on the US Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Blinken, from the Fijian club city, will participate in a video meeting with leaders of 18 Pacific island countries, to strengthen his country’s diplomatic relations with it in the face of pressure from China.

According to US officials, Beijing is making a special effort to strengthen its influence in a number of island states in the region.

China announced in December that it would send police trainers and riot control equipment to the Solomon Islands, as foreign peacekeepers began leaving the archipelago after the bloody protests ended.

And riots broke out in November in this country of 800,000 people.

Demonstrators tried to enter Parliament and then participated in acts of vandalism that lasted 3 days, burning a large part of Chinatown in Honiara.

Poverty, unemployment and problems among the country’s islands have led to protests against Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavary, who has also been accused of wanting closer ties with Beijing after abruptly severing long-standing ties with Taiwan in 2019.

China opposes any diplomatic recognition of Taiwan, which it considers part of its territory.

The Solomon Islands government said it had accepted China’s offer to send six “liaison officers” to train police forces and provide shields, helmets, batons and other “non-lethal” equipment.

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