#Vanuatu and China deny holding military base talks
Vanuatu and China on Tuesday denied a media report that Beijing wanted to establish a permanent military presence in the Pacific island nation.
Australia’s Fairfax Media, citing unnamed sources, earlier on Tuesday 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.
Vanuatu’s foreign minister, Ralph Regenvanu, rejected the report, however.
“No one in the Vanuatu government has ever talked about a Chinese military base in Vanuatu of any sort,” Regenvanu told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
“We are a non-aligned country. We are not interested in militarization, we are just not interested in any sort of military base in our country.”