SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong will travel to the remote Pacific island of Tonga on Friday, days after her Chinese counterpart visited and discussed Tonga’s high debts to Beijing, the Tongan government said.
Tongan Prime Minister Xiaoshi Sovaleni briefed local reporters on Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit on Wednesday, saying six agreements had been signed.
He confirmed that talks were underway with Wang about a loan to Tong from China, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Hon Huakawameiliku also confirmed that Australia’s new Foreign Minister Penny Wong will be in Nuku’alofa on Friday for her first official visit to the Kingdom,” Sovaleni said in a statement.
Wong’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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(Reporting by Kirsty Needham; editing by Tom Hoag)
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