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International relations

U.S. warns against any permanent China military presence in Solomons

Blunt tone of statement indicates level of White House concern over island nation

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, left, and Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja pose for a picture at a meeting on April 13. (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia/Handout via REUTERS)   © Reuters

SYDNEY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A senior-level U.S. delegation met the Solomon Islands' leader on Friday and warned that Washington would have "significant concerns and respond accordingly" to any steps to establish a permanent Chinese military presence in the Pacific island nation.

A White House statement said Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare reiterated to the visiting delegation led by White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell that there would be no military base, no long-term presence and no power projection capability under a security deal signed with China.

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