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CHINA

China's President Xi Jinping during state visit to PNG
Apia, SAMOA — China's ambassador to Samoa labelled critics of Beijing's activities in the Pacific "ignorant" and "prejudiced" Tuesday in the latest testy public missive from the rising Asian superpower's diplomatic corps. Beijing's growing influence in the Pacific islands was a major theme at a...
Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi
Funafuti, TUVALU — Pacific island leaders do not share Australia's concerns about China's rising influence in the region, Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Malielegaoi said Thursday. While Canberra and Washington fear China's long-term ambition is a military base in the Pacific, Malielegaoi said he...
Tuvaluan children sing a welcome for Pacific leaders at Funafuti airport.
Funafuti, TUVALU — The Pacific Leaders Forum in Tuvalu is shaping up to be a fiery one as superpower interests threaten to push aside regional concerns. Island nations consider climate change to be the biggest threat facing the region but western powers, such as Australia and the US, are more...
A pig crosses the tarmac at Asau airfield
Asau, SAMOA — Early in the morning, before sunrise, low tide on the Samoan island of Savai'i reveals the remnants of an old American airstrip, washed away by decades of erosion, cyclones and tsunamis. The World War II site in Asau, which also hosts a 1960s-era concrete wharf in its well-protected...
The US Coast Guard cutter Bertholf
MANILA, Philippines — The US Coast Guard will expand its presence to the Asia Pacific in the coming months amid China’s growing influence in the region. Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the US Coast Guard, said in a telephone conference with reporters that they are “doubling down” in Oceania in the...
a man walks past a development site for a Chinese Investment bank in Nuku'alofa, Tonga
NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (AP) — The days unfold at a leisurely pace in Tonga, a South Pacific archipelago with no traffic lights or fast-food chains. Snuffling pigs roam dusty roads that wind through villages dotted with churches. Yet even in this far-flung island kingdom there are signs that a battle for...
Marshall Islands fisheries Minister Dennis Momotaro and Forum Fisheries Agency Director General Dr. Manu Tupou-Roosen and others
Pohnpei, FSM — Pacific fisheries ministers want to see negotiations to end harmful fisheries subsidies. Meeting this week in Pohnpei, the ministers and senior government officials say the subsidies can be a constraint on the ability of small island states to develop their own fisheries. Of the...
Chao Xiaoliang and PM Tuilaepa
Apia, SAMOA — With just over a fortnight left before the opening of the Pacific Games in Samoa a ceremony has been held in Faleata to mark China's handing over of a brand new multi-sport centre and the completion of refurbishment work on existing games venues. Speaking at the ceremony yesterday...
 NZ Deputy PM Winston Peters in Vanuatu
Apia, SAMOA — Have to hand it to NZ Deputy PM Winston Peters for standing up to a manipulating media over plans by Samoa to build a new wharf at Vaiusu Bay. 'We don't tell them what to do', Winston Peters told off the NZ media who were obviously trying to stir up reaction to the “ multi-million...
The port in Manta, Ecuador.
Bangkok, THAILAND — Skipjack tuna prices in key processing hubs such as Thailand and Ecuador are expected to weaken in June, signaling the downtrend started last month might continue into the summer months. Higher Chinese offering in key markets and lower demand in the Middle East were mentioned as...

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