Solomon Islands Prime Minister Backs China Model at UN, Will Not Attend Biden’s Pacific Island Summit
Sept. 25, 2023, (EIRNS)—The U.S. expressed disappointment over the absence of Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare at its second summit with Pacific Island countries. Sogavare will not attend the second summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden with leaders of the Pacific Islands at the White House, which will take place on Sept. 25-26, Reuters reported.
Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23 in New York, Sogavare called for adopting China’s transformative partnership model, including several initiatives China has proposed, according to Xinhua. “We acknowledge and value South-South cooperation because it is less restrictive, more responsive, and is aligned to our national needs,” Sogavare remarked.
Media reported that a Biden administration official said on Sept. 24 the U.S. is disappointed that Sogavare does not plan to attend the summit.
The summit is part of Biden’s efforts to step up engagement with Pacific Island countries where the U.S. is in a battle for influence with China. Biden intends to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to shared regional priorities with Pacific Islands, according to another Reuters report.
“The U.S. only uses Pacific Island countries as a tool to contain and undermine the mutually beneficial cooperation with China there, and Pacific islands leaders are well aware that all the statements the U.S. makes serve its own strategy rather than the vital interests of regional countries,” Global Times quotes a Chinese official as saying.