The New Zealand Herald

Vanuatu denial


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.

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