The New Zealand Herald
Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu yesterday denied a media report that China wanted to establish a permanent military presence on the Pacific island nation, easing fears of several regional countries concerned about Beijing’s rising assertiveness. Australia’s Fairfax Media, citing unnamed sources, earlier yesterday reported that preliminary discussions to locate a full military base on Vanuatu had been held. The prospect of a Chinese military outpost so close to Australia has been discussed at the highest levels in Canberra and Washington, Fairfax said. Regenvanu, however, rejected the report.