China's foreign minister Wang Yi met with the leaders of Samoa on the third stop of an island-hopping tour aimed at deepening China's ties with Pacific nations.
Beijing hopes regional island nations will accept its Common Development Vision — a major cooperation deal, ranging from fisheries to security, that has alarmed US and its regional partners.
Three-days of clan fights in the town of Paiam and nearby Porgera of Papua New Guinea have killed at least 17 people.
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Bougainville Referendum Commission Chairman Bertie Ahern has announced that more than 98 percent of valid ballots favoured independence.
The victims in Hela province included two pregnant women and eight children. Highland clans have fought each other for centuries, but the recent influx of automatic weapons has made the clashes more deadly.
Prime Minister Peter O'Neill resigned on Sunday following a string of high-profile political defections that threatened his leadership. He handed over the reins to veteran politician Julius Chan, who has twice been prime minister.
Behrouz Boochani, who is held by the Australian state in a remote Pacific detention centre, has won the country's top literature prize with his book written on his mobile phone and delivered one chapter at a time via WhatsApp.
The two-day summit in Papua New Guinea was punctuated by acrimony and underlined a rising rivalry between China and the West for influence in the usually neglected South Pacific.
US Vice President Mike Pence called many of China's global infrastructure projects as low quality while Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against protectionism, saying countries are facing a choice of confrontation and cooperation.
The devastation of the magnitude 7.5 quake that hit the region early on Monday is becoming apparent with a rising death toll and a shut down of economic activities as aftershocks continue to rock the country.
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