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International relations

Pacific leaders seek to shed political pawn status at Biden summit

President's meeting a response to China's proposed alliances in region

U.S. President Joe Biden will host 18 Pacific nation leaders at a summit in Washington on Sept. 28. (Source photo by Reuters) 

AUCKLAND -- When U.S. President Joe Biden sits down with the leaders of 18 Pacific nations and territories this week he will be facing people who, when they are not being overlooked, fear they are geopolitical pawns.

Their first-ever White House gathering on Wednesday comes after China proposed alliances in the region, creating anxiety in the U.S. over the possibility that Beijing might try to set up military bases in the area.

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