Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said U.S President Joe Biden plans to strengthen diplomatic engagement with Pacific Island countries. It’s due to growing security concerns over China’s expanding presence in the region.

According to Reuters, Campbell released the statement in the U.S.-New Zealand business summit on May 2. The move came after the Beijing- Solomon Islands security agreement was signed last month.

Speaking in the call from Washington D.C. to Auckland, the coordinator stated that this diplomatic move includes the White House’s invitation to Pacific leaders to visit the U.S. later this year.

Besides hosting island leaders, Campbell added that the U.S. intended to step up diplomatic ties with other Pacific countries. Those Pacific countries include the countries that the U.S. had not seen ambassadors or engagement for decades.

Last month, Washington warned Beijing. That the U.S. would “respond accordingly” if Beijing maintained any military presence in the Pacific island nation.

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