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Solomon Islands Assure Australia on Chinese Base, Leaves Some Wiggle Room

File image of China's ambassador to the Solomon Islands Li Ming and Solomons Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare cutting a ribbon during the opening ceremony of a China-funded national stadium complex in Honiara. Mavis PODOKOLO / AFP

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of the Solomon Islands assured Australia’s visiting Foreign Minister Penny Wong that China won’t be allowed to build a permanent military base there. 

Wong told journalists: “I welcomed Prime Minister Sogavare’s reassurances that there will not be a military base nor persistent foreign military presence in the Solomon Islands.” The commitment could cool down inflamed relations with Canberra over Honiara’s recent security pact with China. 

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