Solomons’ prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, meets with leaders as part of week-long visit to China.

China and Solomon Islands have signed a deal on police cooperation as part of an upgrade of their relations to a “comprehensive strategic partnership”, four years after the Pacific country switched ties from Taiwan to Beijing.

The police cooperation pact was among nine deals signed as the prime minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, met with the Chinese premier, Li Qiang, in Beijing, underlining the Solomons’ foreign policy shift.

Sogavare arrived in China on Sunday for his first visit since the two countries struck a security pact in 2022 to the alarm of the US and some Pacific neighbours including Australia.

“In just four years the relationship between China and Solomon Islands has developed rapidly, and we can now say that it is very fruitful,” Li told Sogavare.

Sogavare, in turn, thanked China for its role in addressing global challenges and said his country had “a lot to learn” from China’s experience.

A spokesperson for the US national security council said Washington “respects the ability of nations to make sovereign decisions in the best interests of their people” while encouraging the sides “to release these texts immediately to increase transparency and inform discussions about the impacts of these agreements on regional security”.

The official added that the US was committed to a strong relationship with the region and strengthening longstanding bonds with the people of Solomon Islands.