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International relations

Solomon Island lease sparks alarm over China's military footprint

Canberra on edge over Chinese company's plan to develop Tulagi in South Pacific

Solomon Island citizens tour a landing craft medium assigned to the Royal New Zealand ship HMNZS Canterbury after landing ashore to drop off personnel and supplies during a Pacificjoint training exercise. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy) 

SYDNEY -- Weeks after breaking off diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the Solomon Islands has signed a deal with a Chinese company to develop the island of Tulagi.

The Solomon Islands' Central Province has tapped Beijing-based China Sam Enterprise Group to advance Tulagi's "investment, trade, infrastructure, agriculture, fishery, communication, tourism and other fields," the company said Thursday.

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