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Tonga’s prime minister says he’s open to Chinese help with security support at an upcoming summit

By ROD McGUIRK
Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Tonga’s prime minister says he is open to Beijing’s offer of security support for the South Pacific kingdom hosting a major regional leaders’ summit, raising concerns in the United States as it strives to counter China’s growing influence. Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni says there’s nothing to fear from China’s offer to help Tonga host leaders of the 18-member Pacific Islands Forum in August, despite the United States urging regional nations against striking security pacts with Beijing. The United States and its most important South Pacific ally Australia have been working to strengthen ties in the region since Beijing struck a security pact in 2022 that raised fears of the Solomon Islands hosting a Chinese naval base.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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