The Solomon Islands has awarded a Chinese state company a multi-million dollar contract to upgrade an international port in Honiara in a project funded by the Asian Development Bank, an official from the island nation said on Wednesday.
The China Civil Engineering Construction Company was the only company to submit a bid in the competitive tender, Mike Qaqara, from the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, told Reuters. The ADB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“This will be upgrading the old international port in Honiara and two domestic wharves in the provinces,” Qaqara said.
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The Solomon Islands struck a security pact with Beijing last year, prompting concern from the United States and it allies including Australia, New Zealand and Japan over China’s ambitions to build a naval base in the region.
The Solomon Islands and China have denied the security pact would allow a naval base.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Kirsty Needham in Sydney Editing by Alasdair Pal and Simon Cameron-Moore)