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Biden to Fete Pacific Island Nations at White House Summit, Eyeing China’s Grasp

  • First-ever gathering at White House intended to repair ties
  • China seeks to extend influence deeper into Pacific region
Ships dock at Honiara port, Solomon Islands.
Ships dock at Honiara port, Solomon Islands.Photographer: Charley Piringi/AFP/Getty Images

President Joe Biden is seeking to mend ties with Pacific Island nations following years of neglect at a first-ever White House summit, as the US and its allies worry that the strategically important countries risk drifting into China’s orbit. 

At an unprecedented two-day event starting on Wednesday, the administration plans to announce a series of initiatives and a new Pacific strategy that senior officials say focuses on key challenges confronting leaders caught in a struggle for regional influence between Washington and Beijing.