US has reportedly invited 12 regional countries, including the Solomon Islands, which in April struck a security pact with China, heightening Washington's concern about Beijing's growing clout.
China's foreign minister Wang Yi met with the leaders of Samoa on the third stop of an island-hopping tour aimed at deepening China's ties with Pacific nations.
Beijing hopes regional island nations will accept its Common Development Vision — a major cooperation deal, ranging from fisheries to security, that has alarmed US and its regional partners.
Pacific's low-lying reef islands are likely to change shape in response to climate crisis, rather than simply sinking beneath rising seas, a new research says.
The New Zealand Defence Force had previously reported eight people had been rescued after the ferry went missing in the Pacific on January 20.
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