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International relations

China's new ties with Solomon Islands flash on US radar

Strategists fear Beijing's extended power projection in South Pacific

A search and rescue swimmer assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer stands watch aboard an inflatable boat in the Pacific. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

WASHINGTON/BEIJING -- The Thursday edition of China's state-run People's Daily newspaper featured a photo of Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Chinese President Xi Jinping smiling and shaking hands splashed across its front page. The two leaders met in Beijing on Wednesday, weeks after the island nation cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and switched to the mainland.

In a news conference, Xi announced economic support for the Solomons and welcomed their entry into the "big family" of mutual cooperation among China and Pacific island countries.

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