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International relations

New Zealand extends military deployment to Solomon Islands

Troops part of Pacific-led assistance force amid fears of growing China presence

Protestors gather outside the parliament building in Honiara, Solomon Islands on Nov. 24, 2021. Georgina Kekea via REUTERS

WELLINGTON (Reuters) -- New Zealand on Wednesday said it would extend the New Zealand Defense Force's deployment to the Solomon Islands until at least May next year, amid concerns among Western allies about China's growing presence in the South Pacific.

New Zealand deployed troops to the Solomon Islands at the request of the nation's government in late 2021 after rioting broke out in the capital city of Honiara. The troops are part of the Pacific-led Solomon Islands International Assistance Force, which includes troops from Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

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