US secretary of state warns Pacific leaders about ‘coercion’ in veiled swipe at China

Antony Blinken takes a shot at Beijing’s growing influence with rallying call for ‘international rules-based order’

The US secretary of state has warned leaders of Pacific countries about “threats to the rules-based international order” and “economic coercion”, in what appears to be a veiled swipe at China’s growing influence in the region.

Antony Blinken was addressing leaders and their delegates from 11 Pacific countries and territories including Fiji, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Palau and Marshall Islands as part of the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, which is held in Hawaii.

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