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China extends South Pacific reach by funding runway project

Kiribati, in sea lane between US and Australia, eyes upgrade for planned resort

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, left, and Kiribati President Taneti Maamau shake hands in Beijing. The president's January 2020 visit produced a cooperation agreement on China's Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.   © Reuters

SYDNEY -- China will provide financial assistance to upgrade an airstrip in the South Pacific island nation of Kiribati, at a site once used during wartime by the U.S.

The runway renovation on Kanton, a remote island near the equator, is part of a plan by Kiribati to develop the isle into a high-end resort, according to a statement provided by a Kiribati press officer.

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