The United States on Monday cautioned Pacific Islands nations against assistance from Chinese security forces after reports surfaced that Chinese police are working in the remote atoll nation of Kiribati, a neighbor of Hawaii.

Kiribati's acting police commissioner Eeri Aritiera said last week uniformed Chinese officers were working with police in community policing and a crime database program.

Kiribati is a nation of 115,000 people whose closest island is 2,160 kilometers (1,340 miles) south of Honolulu, and the news comes as Beijing renews a push to expand security ties in the Pacific Islands in an intensifying rivalry with the United States.