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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - SINGAPORE — The US has reopened its Solomon Islands embassy in a move widely seen as shoring up influence in the Pacific to counter China's push into the region.
Last year Washington and its allies were blindsided when the tiny nation signed a security deal with Beijing.
It came after the US had already said it would reopen its Honiara post - closed in 1993 - amid concerns over China's growing military ambitions.
The Solomons PM did not attend the embassy's opening on Wednesday.
However a foreign ministry spokesman said the re-established US embassy was welcomed by the government.
The region is strategically crucial for the US as a gateway to Asia for Pacific allies like Australia. Washington's diplomatic presence has until now largely been centred in its Papua New Guinea post.
But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said the Honiara embassy would help advance the US-Pacific partnership goals - signed last year - of keeping the region a place where "democracy can flourish".
The embassy opening comes at "an important moment for the region we share", he said in a video statement.
"Because more than any other part of the world - the Indo-Pacific region including the Pacific islands - will shape the world's trajectory in the 21st Century." — BBC
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