Solomon Islands' Ambassador to China John Moffat Fugui has died in Beijing ©Getty Images

The Solomon Islands Ambassador to China John Moffat Fugui has died in Beijing at the age of 61.

Fugui became the 2023 Pacific Games host country's first Ambassador to China in May 2021.

It is reported that he died after suffering a cardiac arrest in the Chinese capital.

Throughout his tenure, Fugui tried to open direct flights between Honiara and China, promote tuna and timber exports to the country, attract Chinese investors and visitors, and collaborate on the upcoming Games.

"As the first Solomon Islands Ambassador to China, Fugui had made positive contributions to the development of bilateral relations and the promotion of friendship between the two countries," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, as reported by Global Times.

In October 2020, the two countries signed an agreement for China to help build venues for the event due to take place from November 19 to December 2 this year.

The venues include a new $53 million (£44 million/€49 million) 10,000-capacity National Stadium, with 1,000 VIP seats and six other facilities.

Last year, the Solomon Islands signed a security pact with China.

The agreement could allow the Solomon Islands request China send police and military personnel if required, leaked documents show, while China could deploy forces to protected "Chinese personnel and major projects".

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare described the Ambassador as "a trustworthy person who touched many lives, lived and worked for many lives and built and shaped many lives," as reported by The Solomon Star.

Fugui was a Member of Parliament in the Solomon Islands from 2010 to 2020.

He held a number of posts including as Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Minister of Public Service, Minister of Environment, Conservation, Meteorology, and Disaster Management and as Deputy Speaker of Parliament.