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Newsline: Unhappiness in Tonga at US embassy move

US vice president Kamala Harris made the announcement among other ‘re-engagement’ promises for the Pacific region, in an address via video link with leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum, during the forum’s annual leaders meeting. RNZ Pacific correspondent in Tonga Kalafi Moala said people there now want to know if there will be consular services provided, so they don’t have to travel to Suva to get visas. (https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/471006/unhappiness-in-tonga-at-us-embassy-move) China recently completed building a large embassy in Nuku’alofa, and Moala said people were asking – via social media and talkback radio – if that was why Washington had chosen Tonga for the new mission. The US also announced it would build an embassy in Kiribati. Earlier this week Kiribati opposition leader Tessie Lambourne said Kiribati’s decision to withdraw from the Pacific Islands Forum on the eve of its annual summit was driven by pressure from China. But the Chinese foreign ministry denied Beijing had any part in Kiribati’s withdrawal from the forum.

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