10 Apr 2018

Vanuatu foreign minister denies China military base claim

5:03 pm on 10 April 2018

Vanuatu's foreign minister has denied Australian media reports that his country is considering hosting a Chinese military base.

Ralph Regenvanu

Ralph Regenvanu Photo: WikiCommons / Marke Lowen

Ralph Regenvanu's comment follows reports in Fairfax media citing "preliminary discussions" between Vanuatu and China about a "military build-up" in the Pacific country.

The claim has grown in relation to a recent Chinese-funded expansion of the wharf facility on Vanuatu's biggest island of Espiritu Santo being seen as a potential base.

However, Mr Regenvanu told the ABC the reports were false, and that no one in the government had ever talked about a Chinese base of any sort in Vanuatu.

According to him, Vanuatu is a non-aligned country and is not interested in militarisation or hosting any sort of military base.

Mr Reganvanu, who has just attended the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Baku, said he was not very happy about the standard of reporting in the Australia media.