Papua New Guinea PM warns opposition not to ‘play politics’ with China visit

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SYDNEY, June 3 (Reuters) – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister warned the opposition not to “play politics” with the visit of China’s foreign minister amid an election campaign, noting China is a major trade partner and the biggest buyer of the Pacific nation’s gas exports.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Prime Minister James Marape on Friday, after signing agreements with his counterpart, in the final days of an eight-nation tour that has raised concern over Beijing’s ambitions in the region.

China was unable to gain consensus from 10 Pacific island nations for a sweeping regional pact on security and trade at a meeting on Monday. Several nations said it was too rushed and they wanted to consult the broader region, where some countries have diplomatic ties with Taiwan and not Beijing.

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Nonetheless, Wang struck a series of bilateral deals on infrastructure, fisheries, trade and police equipment on his…

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