U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy plan next month to visit the Solomon Islands, where their fathers fought in World War II and the United States is in a modern-day battle for influence with strategic rival China.

Sherman and her delegation will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal during her Aug. 6-8 visit and meet with senior officials "to highlight the enduring relationship between the United States and Solomon Islands" and plans to open a U.S. embassy in the capital, Honiara, a senior State Department official said Sunday.

Sherman will be just the latest senior U.S. official to visit the Pacific region as Washington steps up efforts to push back against Chinese diplomatic inroads.