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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (File Image)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (File Image)

Opening of Solomon Islands embassy by US is deep strategic anxiety, says Chinese media

ANI | Updated: Feb 14, 2022 17:20 IST

Beijing [China], February 14 (ANI): Slamming US' plans to open its embassy in the Solomon Islands, Chinese media have said that this increase in engagement in Pacific island countries is due to "deep strategic anxiety" of Washington.
The US had closed its embassy in the Soloman Islands in 1993. In 2019, the Solomon Islands cut its diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established relations with China.
An editorial published in the Chinese state media outlet said the US was void of steady interest in Pacific island countries, and it will only look down and notice the region whenever there is a strategic need.
According to the article, the US intends to return to the Pacific region, without concerning itself with what the island countries really need.
"The US Embassy in the Solomon Islands has been closed for 29 years. The position of US ambassador to Fiji is still vacant. This time, it is the Embassy's charge d'affaires who welcomed Blinken's 'historical visit. Blinken is the first US secretary of state to visit Fiji in 37 years. If it wasn't for the deep strategic anxiety, Washington would not think of Pacific island countries for another 37 years," the Global Times editorial read.

Drawing comparisons with China, the state media outlet said, "Unlike the fact that the US secretary of state took 37 years to think of Fiji, more than 20 Chinese officials at the level of foreign minister or higher have visited the country since 1985. Today, China is the second-largest trading partner of Pacific island countries."
Last week, the US government had announced its intention to open an embassy in the Solomon Islands as part of its policy to counter China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Speaking in the South Pacific nation of Fiji on Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated US' intent to open the embassy to deepen its "cooperation with Pacific Island partners."
In a document titled the "Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States", the US, last week, laid out its diplomatic policy for the Indo-Pacific region. It includes plans to open new embassies and consulates in Southeast Asia and Pacific island nations.
Blinken said these steps are only the beginning, and the US will continue to advance its "engagement and investments in the Indo-Pacific." (ANI)