Saturday, November 16, 2019 | ePaper

China 'leases' Pacific Island after Solomons cuts ties with Taiwan

  • Print


AFP, Honiara :
A Chinese company signed an agreement to lease an entire island in the Solomon Islands a day after Beijing recruited the Pacific nation as its latest ally in the strategically important region, according to documents obtained by AFP Thursday.
The leaked documents reveal that the Solomons' Central Province made a "strategic cooperation agreement" on Tulagi island, which has a natural deep water harbour, with the firm China Sam Group on September 22.
A day previously, China and the Solomons officially established diplomatic relations after Beijing persuaded the impoverished Pacific nation to sever ties with arch-rival Taiwan and become its ally.
Tulagi, an island about two square kilometres (0.8 square miles) with a population of 1,200, is the site of a former Japanese naval base and was the scene of fierce fighting in World War II.
The agreement with China Sam mentions developing a refinery on the island, but its potential for dual use as a Chinese military base is certain to raise concerns with the United States and Australia. It goes on to say the deal covers "any other industry that is suitable for development, including oil and gas development".
China Sam said in a statement issued Thursday that it was committed to cooperating with the Solomons in a number of areas, including trade, infrastructure, fisheries and tourism.

More News For this Category

North Korea rejects US offer of December talks

North Korea rejects US offer of December talks

Reuters, Seoul :  North Korea said on Thursday it had turned down a U.S. offer for fresh talks, saying it was not interested in more talks merely aimed at

Venice faces more floods as state of emergency declared

Venice faces more floods as state of emergency declared

AFP, Venice :Italy on Thursday declared a state of emergency for Venice after an exceptional tide surged through churches, shops and homes, causing millions of euros worth of damage

North Korea calls Biden 'rabid dog' that 'must be beaten to death'

North Korea calls Biden 'rabid dog' that 'must be beaten to death'

AFP, Seoul :North Korea has launched a visceral diatribe against US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, calling the former vice-president a "rabid dog" - while also borrowing the terminology

US presses European countries to take Islamic State fighters

US presses European countries to take Islamic State fighters

AP, Washington :European and other members of the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group must take back and prosecute their nationals detained in Iraq and Syria to help

News In Brief

Trump visits Russia for Victory Day in MayAP, BrasiliaRussian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he hoped his U.S counterpart Donald Trump would come to Russia to mark Victory

Evo Morales wants UN mediation in Bolivia

Evo Morales wants UN mediation in Bolivia

AP, Mexico City :Bolivia's Evo Morales called for the United Nations, and possibly Pope Francis, to mediate in the Andean nation's political crisis following his ouster as president in

Buttigieg rises in Iowa to lead Democratic WH pack: Poll

Buttigieg rises in Iowa to lead Democratic WH pack: Poll

Reuters, Washington :Pete Buttigieg has pulled to the top of the pack of Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa for the first time after drawing increased support from nearly every demographic

Imran Khan's ex-wife Reham Khan wins defamation case in UK High Court

Imran Khan's ex-wife Reham Khan wins defamation case in UK High Court

PTI, London :Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's former wife, Reham Khan, has won "substantial" damages and received an apology from a Pakistani news channel over defamatory allegations by a government

Ex-Tory minister advises public to vote against party

Ex-Tory minister advises public to vote against party

AP, London :A former Conservative Party Cabinet minister said Wednesday that giving the party a majority in next month's election would be "disastrous" for the U.K., in the latest example

Italy's Venice flooded by highest tide in 50 years

Italy's Venice flooded by highest tide in 50 years

AP, Manila :Venice was hit by the highest tide in more than 50 years late on Tuesday, with tourists wading through flooded streets to seek shelter as a fierce wind