The summit “will demonstrate the United States’ deep and enduring partnership with Pacific Island countries and the Pacific region, according to US official.
The White House announced Friday that President Joe Biden will host Pacific Island leaders in Washington later this month amid growing worries by the United States and Western allies about China’s activity in the region.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement the meetings Sept. 28-29 “will demonstrate the United States’ deep and enduring partnership with Pacific Island countries and the Pacific region.”
Biden has invited Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tuvalu, Tonga, and Fiji to take part in the summit, according to the White House.
The announcement comes days after the Solomon Islands earlier this week asked countries to not send naval vessels to the South Pacific nation until approval processes are overhauled, amid concerns over a new security pact between the Solomons and China.
The government made the request after the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Oliver Henry and the British navy patrol boat HMS Spey canceled planned port calls last week due to bureaucratic delays.
The United States and Britain are among countries concerned that a new security pact with Beijing could lead to a Chinese naval base being constructed less than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) off Australia’s northeast coast.
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