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Solomon Islands Explains It Wanted China References Stripped From U.S.-Pacific Island Countries’ Accord

U.S. President Joe Biden posing with Pacific Island leaders during the U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit on the North Portico of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 29, 2022. Oliver Contreras / AFP

The Solomon Islands caused a bit of a stir last month at a summit in Washington, D.C. when it refused to sign an initial draft of an accord between the U.S. and more than a dozen Pacific nations. Now, we know why.

“There were some references that put us in a position where we’ll have to choose sides (between the U.S. and China), and we did not want to be placed in a position where we have to choose sides,” explained Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele during a Tuesday press briefing in the New Zealand capital Wellington.

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