China’s bid to build a military base in the South Pacific has put Australia on the edge, with its PM Malcolm Turnbull saying the country viewed such a move with great concern.
The CNN in its April 10th edition said reports indicated Beijing was in talks with Vanuatu to host Chinese forces.
While some news agencies said the talks were mere rumours, Vanuatu’s Prime Minister has vowed to “fiercely oppose” any push to build a foreign military base on the Pacific island nation.
However, he also defended his government’s close ties to “friend and global leader” China.
Turnbull said in a press conference last week the High Commissioner of Vanuatu had assured the Australian government no Chinese requests for a military presence had been made.
The small island nation of about 282,000 people sits in the South Pacific, is a large recipient of Australian government aid.
But in recent years has received hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and grants from the Chinese government.
The suggestion that China was looking to establish a base in the South Pacific nation, as first reported by Fairfax Media Tuesday.
When asked at his daily press briefing, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the reports were “fake news, said CNN.