US-China rivalry playing out violently in the Solomons

SYDNEY – As townspeople clear the debris from three days of rioting in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara, the two biggest powers in the Pacific – the United States and China — are trying not to get the blame.

At first, the unrest that broke out on November 24 seemed to stem from a move in September 2019 by Manasseh Sogavare, prime minister of this nation of about 700,000 people, to transfer diplomatic recognition of China from Taipei to Beijing.

Sogavare got a majority of parliament to support the move, and in October 2019 was feted in Beijing by President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

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