Western countries watch as China’s foreign minister begins South Pacific tour

Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi talk during a ceremony to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Solomon Islands and China at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Sept. 21, 2019.

Australia was scrambling to counter the move by sending its own Foreign Minister Penny Wong to Fiji to shore up support in the Pacific.

(Image credit: Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

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