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Solomons Wanted China References Removed Before Signing US Deal

  • Foreign minister says Solomons did not want to ‘choose sides’
  • Report says Beijing wants to alter public opinion in Solomons
Jeremiah Manele on Oct. 4. 
Jeremiah Manele on Oct. 4.  Photographer: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
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The Solomon Islands refused to sign the US government’s Pacific partnership deal until “indirect” references to the Chinese government were removed, with Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele saying his country did not want to “choose sides.”

The US government announced the signing of a landmark agreement between Washington and the leaders of 14 Pacific nations on September 30, which included increased cooperation on maritime security, climate change and economic development.