China foreign minister met with counterparts from 10 Pacific island nations in Fiji on Monday, midway through a diplomatic tour of the region where China's ambitions for wider security ties has caused concern among U.S. allies.

Iran PressIran News: Pacific island nations with diplomatic ties with China are attending the meeting, hosted by China Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who earlier met with Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

In a written address to the meeting, China's President Xi Jinping said China will always be a good friend of Pacific Island countries no matter how the international situation changes, China's state-owned CCTV reported.

A draft communique and five-year action plan sent by China to the invited nations, which include Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Niue and Vanuatu ahead of the meeting, showed China was seeking a sweeping regional trade and security agreement.

With borders closed across the region because of the COVID pandemic, most foreign ministers are attending the Fiji meeting by video link. In several Pacific countries, the foreign minister is also prime minister.

Some Pacific islands have in recent days signed on to some of the individual security components that China is seeking in the regional agreement, statements released by the governments and China show.


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