PORT MORESBY, April 27 (AFP) - Joe Biden is set to become the first sitting United States president in at least a century to visit Papua New Guinea, Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko said on Thursday (Apr 27), revealing plans for a brief but symbolic trip.

Biden plans to stop in Port Moresby in May as he travels between a G7 summit in Japan and a Quad summit in Sydney, Australia, the foreign minister said.

"He is coming on the 22nd, in the morning, and will be here for three hours only," Tkatchenko said, adding that talks were expected to focus on the economy, security and climate change.

Biden's trip may put the finishing touches on a US-Papua New Guinea Defence Cooperation Agreement that would allow more joint training and the development of security infrastructure.

The presidential trip is a nod to Papua New Guinea's rapidly growing strategic importance, as the US and its allies tussle with China for influence across the Asia-Pacific.

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Port Moresby in 2018 to much fanfare, with Chinese flags hoisted across the capital and his motorcade whizzing past gathered crowds.

The trip was seen as a major diplomatic coup for Beijing.

US and Australian officials have been concerned by a rapid uptick in Chinese investment in the resource-rich Melanesian nation.

There have also been concerns that China has been trying to establish a military outpost, prompting Washington to float the idea of establishing a joint naval facility on Manus Island.

Construction started in mid-2020, according to Australia's Department of Defence, which is also taking part in the initiative.

Four Guardian-class patrol boats are eventually expected to be based at the facility.