Samoa signs China agreement amid South Pacific push
Samoa signed a bilateral agreement with China yesterday, promising "greater collaboration" as Beijing's foreign minister continues a tour of the South Pacific that has sparked concern among Western allies.
The deal's details are unclear, coming midway through a Chinese delegation's eight-nation trip -- but an earlier leaked draft agreement sent to several Pacific countries outlined plans to expand security and economic engagement.
The mission has prompted Western leaders to urge regional counterparts to spurn any Chinese attempt to extend its security reach across the region.
A press release from the Samoan government confirmed that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa had met and discussed "climate change, the pandemic and peace and security".
The release said that China would continue to provide infrastructural development support to various Samoan sectors and there would be a new framework for future projects "to be determined and mutually agreed".
The Chinese delegation has already visited the Solomon Islands and Kiribati this week.
It arrived in Samoa on Friday night before flying on Saturday afternoon into Fiji, where Wang will attend a group meeting of foreign ministers from Pacific countries.
Other stops are expected in Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and East Timor.