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.
The coronavirus has killed over 2.52 million people and infected more than 113.9 million globally. Here are the virus-related developments for February 27:
Cyclone Harold, its strength ranked in the highest category of five, passed over Fiji's south at about midday, levelling homes and snapping communications links in the archipelago, which has adopted curbs on movement to rein in the virus.
Tropical Cyclone Harold, which claimed 27 lives when it swept through the Solomon Islands last week, lashed Vanuatu's northern provinces overnight as a scale-topping category five superstorm.
Tropical cyclone Harold, which claimed 27 lives when it swept through the Solomon Islands last week, strengthened overnight Sunday as it moved east towards Vanuatu.
The European Union expanded its tax haven blacklist by 10 countries, adding the United Arab Emirates and Bermuda despite the objections of powerful member states.
Some 175,000 people were eligible to vote in the remote islands where separatists urged indigenous Kanak voters to choose self-determination and throw off the shackles of "colonial" authorities in Paris.
The Manaro Voui volacano in Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean and Mount Agung in eastern Bali could both erupt in any time.
Fiji's national disaster office had issued a nationwide tsunami warning after the powerful underwater quake, leading to widespread evacuations and traffic jams.
Magnitude 7.0 earthquake strikes off Vanuatu coast.
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