A 20-member delegation headed by Wang Yi, China's Foreign Minister, arrived in Solomon Islands on Thursday as part of an eight-nation trip. This comes amid growing concern about Beijing's financial and military ambitions in the South Pacific.
Australia responded quickly by sending Penny Wong, its Foreign Minister to Fiji in an effort to curb the attack. Wong arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday night, just five days after an Australian election.
"This is China trying to increase its influence within the region of the globe where Australia has been a security partner of choice ever since the Second World War," Anthony Albanese, Australian Prime Minister, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
The Media Association of Solomon Islands called on its members to boycott the Honiara news conference by Wang and Jeremiah Manele, their counterparts from the Solomon Islands.
This is because selected media were not invited and only one question could be asked to Wang by China's state-owned broadcaster CCTV.
Georgina Kekea, president of the association, tweeted that "It's a difficult call to make regarding media boycott for the press conference on Thursday." "Our protest is to have our government see our dismay. They failed us and failed to protect #democracy
China and the Solomon Islands signed a security agreement last month, a shocking move that shocked the entire world.
There are fears that China might send troops to the Solomon Islands or establish a military base in the area, which is not far from Australia. China and the Solomon Islands both deny any plans to establish a base.
The Associated Press has obtained a draft document that shows Wang hopes to make a deal during his visit with 10 small Pacific countries. One Pacific leader believes that Beijing is trying to seize control of the region with this broad agreement, which covers security and fisheries.
Wang hopes that the countries will agree to the agreement after the May 30 meeting in Fiji between the foreign ministers.
Wang will also make stops in Samoa and Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu during his 10-day trip.