No plans to allow China to set up military base: Vanuatu

Vanuatu

Australia will give Vanuatu A$69.8 million ($54 million) in aid in 2017-18, and provides the nation "with the majority of its tourists, foreign direct investment and aid", according to the Australian government.

When asked at his daily press briefing, China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the reports were "fake news".

Some analysts believe that Australia, France and New Zealand are likely to re-double diplomatic efforts in the region to ensure China's foothold is contained.

"A Chinese base in Vanuatu would represent a significant strategic challenge to Australia and New Zealand in their backyard", said Lanteigne, a senior lecturer in security studies at Massey University in Auckland.

If China were to build a base in the South Pacific, it would be only the second after the recent establishment of a logistics facility in the global Indian Ocean port of Djibouti.

National foreign affairs spokesman Todd McClay said Vanuatu would have to consider any impact a Chinese military base could have on its sovereignty.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visited Vanuatu with Prince Charles on Saturday in a diplomatic tour that Fairfax Media has been told was aimed at demonstrating the merits of the Commonwealth's commitment to a free and open system of global rules.

"I remain confident that Australia is Vanuatu's strategic partner of choice", she said.

It reported that while no formal proposal had been made, sources told it of preliminary discussions which had sparked concerns in Australia and the United States.

"We are a non-aligned country".




"If it turns out there are one or more Chinese bases. what it has the ability to do is challenge, and make much more challenging, American access into the region", said Charles Edel, a former adviser to former USA secretary of state John Kerry.

Vanuatu and China on Tuesday denied a media report that Beijing wanted to establish a permanent military presence in the Pacific island nation.

National leader Simon Bridges said it's not necessarily wrong when other countries invest in others' infrastructure.

"But I'm very openly expressing now, and would do either privately or publicly, that we take a strong position in the Pacific against militarization", she said.

"Militarisation and competition in the region is not something that is conducive to the sort of stable and prosperous region that we want", Senator Wong told the ABC.

Chinese money has already helped finance a new wharf on the north island of Espiritu Santo, alongside an upgrade to the global airport, it was reported.

Vanuatu, around 1,200 miles east of northern Australia, was home to a key US Navy base during the Second World War that helped beat back the Japanese army as it advanced through the Pacific towards Australia.

Currently, China has only one military base in a foreign country, located in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, but has been increasing its presence in the Pacific, especially in the South China Sea.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the reports had not yet been confirmed, and she could not discuss the details of any official briefings.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top New OnePlus 6 leaks reveal color options, confirm design elements
Apr 10, 2018 - 19:57
The latest leak meanwhile also reveals several key aspects of the phone that has already been in public knowledge for a while now. A while back, an alleged OnePlus 6 DxOmark image came to light, depicting the smartphone's front in clear detail.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Slaven Bilic raves about West Ham's Javier Hernandez
Apr 10, 2018 - 19:50
West Ham United's Javier " Chicharito " Hernandez celebrates his goal at Chelsea with teammate Marko Arnautovic. DECLAN RICE reckons he made his point as West Ham claimed one at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Iran's Rouhani says USA 'will regret it' if it violates nuclear deal
Apr 10, 2018 - 19:40
Trump has repeatedly threatened to rip up the Iran nuclear agreement, a deal signed under predecessor Barack Obama. A dollar was worth 36,000 rials in mid-September.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sunil Narine smashes 17-ball fifty as Kolkata beat RCB in IPL
Apr 09, 2018 - 00:42
Immediately after the finish of the powerplay, KKR skipper Karthik brought Sunil Narine and Mitchell Johnson from both the ends. De Villiers welcomed him with a huge six but the move paid off soon as he top-edged the next ball which hurried on the batsmen.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top If I come back to fight, it 'has to be the Octagon'
Apr 09, 2018 - 00:35
Mayweather has downplayed the possibility of facing McGregor in the future, but remains open to a new career in UFC. The "Money Fight" between Mayweather and McGregor was an exception, but that was boxing.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Fire in Trump Tower in NY kills 1
Apr 09, 2018 - 00:31
An automatic alarm alerted the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) to the fire engulfing the apartment on the high-rise building. Eric later called out mental health counselor Jeffrey Guterman, who tweeted that he hoped the fire at Trump Tower continued.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Spain need Nadal to save them in Davis Cup
Apr 09, 2018 - 00:31
German Zverev, also a top five player, earned a comfortable victory over Valencia-native Davis Ferrer in the opening rubber. Croatia will take on the United States in the other semi-final, with both ties to be played on 14-16 September.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Cosby jury filled as defense alleges discrimination
Apr 08, 2018 - 01:31
Since then, prosecutors have told Cosby's lawyers that Constand had modified her statement to acknowledge she "recalls a Margo". The camera showed the judge, prosecutors and defense lawyers, but not potential jurors who were being questioned as a group.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Highlights on day three of the Commonwealth Games
Apr 08, 2018 - 01:24
Gold medalist Cate Campbell of Australia , silver medalists Bronte Campbell of Australia and Taylor Ruck of Canada on the podium. Earlier, the Kiwis recorded the second fastest time of 4m 22.331s in qualifying, 0.153s ahead of Canada .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Commonwealth Games: Australian gold rush continues in mixed-team triathlon
Apr 08, 2018 - 01:09
Sathish Kumar registered a total of 317 kg which included 144 kg in snatch and 173 kg in clean and jerk. The Nigerian basketball team are now in the bottom of Pool A, having played two matches and lost both.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Wrestlemania 34 draws fans from all over the world to New Orleans
Apr 08, 2018 - 01:08
I was mostly indifferent to her before coming to WWE , but I do love that she seems to have such a passion for the business. Man, I am exhausted just writing about Wrestlemania , no idea how anyone could sit through seven hours of watching it.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump vows to send 2000 to 4000 troops to Mexican border
Apr 07, 2018 - 14:44
Also on Friday, the Texas Military Department tweeted that the National Guard was prepping "to deploy to Texas - Mexico border ". Border apprehensions still remain well below the numbers when Mr Bush and Mr Obama deployed the Guard to the border.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Augusta to host women's tourney
Apr 07, 2018 - 14:42
But the 42-year-old made it clear he felt he was not to blame for being put on the clock by rules officials at Augusta National. After a 36-hole cut to the low 30 scores, competitors will make their way to Augusta National Golf Club for the final round.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top #StateCapture case: Presidency's decision on Zuma's legal costs welcomed
Apr 07, 2018 - 14:42
The uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association was also represented in the form of Carl Nieuhaus and Mabel Rweqana. Schabir Shaikh, Zuma's financial adviser, was charged with and found guilty of trying to solicit the arms deal bribes.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Everton vs Liverpool: Three battles that'll decide the game
Apr 07, 2018 - 14:41
No matter at what level of football you play, derby day is the one of the best days on the calendar for us football fans. The German mentor does have the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to call upon, with both seasoned match-winners.