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China gets jump on Australia's new government with Pacific tour

Wang leads Beijing's battle for influence in Solomons and other island nations

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, attends a signing ceremony with Solomon Islands counterpart Jeremiah Manele in 2019.

SYDNEY/BEIJING -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's 10-day tour of Pacific island nations and East Timor kicking off Thursday looks to solidify Beijing's regional influence before Australia's new government can get fully off the ground.

At Wang's first stop, the Solomon Islands, a ceremony is planned for the security agreement the country signed with Beijing in April, according to a local source. Economic deals are rumored to be on the agenda as well.

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