China urges stability in Solomon Islands

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Chinese officials have asked the government of the Solomon Islands to ensure the safety of its citizens amid violent protests that have rocked the Pacific island country.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China supports the government efforts to stop the riots that began on Wednesday, urging the authorities there to take "necessary measures to guarantee the safety of citizens".

Fresh protests broke out in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Assailants ransacked some businesses run by Chinese citizens on the island.

The foreign ministry spokesman said the government has conveyed its "concern about the attacks" to the local government, expressing his confidence that the administration "will restore order and stability quickly".

Zhao said the ties between China and the Solomon Islands had developed well in the last two years.

The spokesman mentioned the progress between the two countries in "economy, trade, infrastructure and education".

"Any attempt to disrupt the normal development of China's relations with another country is useless," he warned.

In September 2019, the Solomon Islands cut its official ties with Taiwan after maintaining relations with Taipei for 36 years.

Sogavare's government began diplomatic ties with China in September 2019.

Taiwan maintains its diplomatic ties with 15 countries only.

Several of its allies have severed ties in favour of China in recent years.

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