Sunday, 09 December, 2018

No plans for Chinese military base, says Vanuatu

China's President Xi Jinping No plans for Chinese military base, says Vanuatu
Steven Clarke | 11 April, 2018, 04:51

One security expert based in the United States told Fairfax that Vanuatu - which is less than 2500 kilometres from Sydney - could provide access for China into the Pacific, as it is now blocked further north by the "island chain" of the Philippines, Japan and Guam.

Vanuatuan and Australian foreign affairs officials immediately disputed the claims. This arrangement could then be built on.

Chinese money has already helped finance a new wharf on the north island of Espiritu Santo, alongside an upgrade to the global airport, it was reported.

However, a senior official of the Vanuatu government said that such discussions have never taken place and China isn't planning to build a military base in the island nation.

The wharf is close to an global airport that China is helping Vanuatu upgrade.

The reports were quickly denied by Beijing and Vanuatu, but analysts said it was possible that China was building a facility to track spacecraft, adding that the facility had the potential to be used for intelligence gathering and other military purposes.

A space tracking or satellite telemetry station would not exclude the possibility of building other facilities there although the project would require Vanuatu's agreement, Collin Koh Swee Lean, a research fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, said. A Chinese embassy spokesman even called the idea "ridiculous". USA overreacting to what other States are building military bases on the territory of other States. Its only current overseas base is in Djibouti.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull did not sound completely reassured by Regenvanu's assurances.

China's reported choice of Vanuatu to establish a military base is so odd, it alone should spark concern in Australia, an global security expert says.

Any future naval or air base in Vanuatu would "give China a foothold for operations to coerce Australia, outflank the US and its base on USA territory at Guam, and collect intelligence in a regional security crisis", Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, said in a report for the Lowy Institute think tank in Sydney.

Kathua: FIR against lawyers for blocking cops
However, police reinforcements had to be called to the spot to tackle the situation. The head-constable was charged with destruction of evidence.

"Chinese presence in Vanuatu, while today about fishing access and commercial trade, tomorrow could represent a threat to Australia's northern approaches".

"I would be very surprised if we saw any development there military, security-wise in the near future", he said.

He insisted China has ships in the Pacific Islands for purely humanitarian reasons, pointing to upcoming disaster response drills with New Zealand and Vanuatu.

The denials won't quell concerns over the communist nation's efforts to grow its influence in the South Pacific.

Located off the coast of Australia, Vanuatu is strategically placed for a possible military base especially for China as it flanks Japan and the United States, however, the Foreign Minister of Vanuatu emphasised that it is not interested in any sort of military base.

"It would allow them to have some forces positioned behind the USA base in Guam and would allow China to monitor and patrol the South Pacific Ocean".

"China has travelled very far very fast".

China has set a pattern in the Indian Ocean whereby it builds infrastructure paid for by concessional Chinese loans which the local government can not repay.

China reportedly accounts for almost half of Vanuatu's AUD$440 million (US$338 million) foreign debt.

Recommended

Equal Pay Day points to 100-year wage gap for women's work Equal Pay Day points to 100-year wage gap for women's work However, even in real estate where there are more female brokers, women earn 70.5% of what their average male counterpart earns. This has to be a type of cultural change that permeates society as a whole to address deep social and economic inequities.

Cardi B admits she 'kinda, sorta' considered an abortion Cardi B admits she 'kinda, sorta' considered an abortion At the end of her MTV Music Awards performance, the singer unbuttoned her jacket and rubbed her belly while laughing and grinning. The musical templates of singles " Bodak Yellow " and " Bartier Cardi " pretty much fill up the rest of the album.

Goldman Sachs: Tesla Inc (TSLA) Is Still A Sell In Our Eyes Goldman Sachs: Tesla Inc (TSLA) Is Still A Sell In Our Eyes BidaskClub raised shares of Tesla from a "strong sell" rating to a "sell" rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 1,248 shares of the company's stock, valued at $441,168.

Ratfucked: Barnaby Joyce Has Absolutely Gone In On Malcolm Turnbull Ratfucked: Barnaby Joyce Has Absolutely Gone In On Malcolm Turnbull Australia has avoided recession for over a quarter of a century. "What they don't want is a Shorten government", he told Sky News .

Overwatch League Star Bites the Dust for Sexual Misconduct Charges Overwatch League Star Bites the Dust for Sexual Misconduct Charges Along with her statement , she also posted screenshots of her conversations with DreamKazper to prove that she was not lying. Lengyel was suspended in January for launching a homophobic slur against a player from an opposing Overwatch League team.

Trump wins pledges of 1600 National Guard troops for Mexico border duty Trump wins pledges of 1600 National Guard troops for Mexico border duty Doug Ducey prior their deployment to the Mexico border at the Papago Park Military Reservation Monday, April 9, 2018, in Phoenix. His office says guard members will provide air, reconnaissance, operational and logistical support to border patrol agents.

Ex-49ers safety Eric Reid visiting Bengals Ex-49ers safety Eric Reid visiting Bengals Reid continued to take on new roles playing strong safety for the rest of the season showing off how versatile he could be. Former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid reportedly is scheduled to make his first free-agent visit.

Bill Cosby's retrial begins Bill Cosby's retrial begins He also questioned why a woman protesting in support of rape victims would be topless, saying it was disrespectful to victims. Other female witnesses would be called, he said, giving testimony that they were drugged and molested in very similar ways.

Christian Pulisic Cross Turns Into Ridiculous Goal vs. Stuttgart Christian Pulisic Cross Turns Into Ridiculous Goal vs. Stuttgart Stuttgart striker Mario Gomez threatened the Dortmund goal when he clipped the crossbar five minutes before the final whistle. The result sees Frankfurt in fourth place on the table while Hoffenheim remain in seventh.

Canada crash: 14 killed as junior hockey team bus collides with truck Canada crash: 14 killed as junior hockey team bus collides with truck A semi-trailer collided with a passenger bus carrying members of the Humboldt Broncos about 30 kilometres north of Tisdale, Sask. A moment of silence was also observed in Las Vegas on Saturday morning, where Brad Gushue and his rink from St.

Hungary set to re-elect anti-Muslim immigration Prime Minister Hungary set to re-elect anti-Muslim immigration Prime Minister Election officials said voter turnout was 68.1 percent by 6:30 p.m. (16:30 GMT), 30 minutes before the official end of voting. Polls predicted his populist, right-wing Fidesz party would win a majority in the 199-seat legislature.

Fire in Trump Tower in NY kills 1 Fire in Trump Tower in NY  kills 1 Typical uncompassionate response from president Donald Trump when a fire killed a resident in Trump Tower in Manhattan. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2018 " The FBI closed the case on Hillary, which was a rigged investigation.

Scoreboard: Dakota Raabe, Michigan Hockey Advance to Frozen Four Scoreboard: Dakota Raabe, Michigan Hockey Advance to Frozen Four The semi-finals begin on Thursday, April 5 when Ohio State takes on Minnesota Duluth, followed by MI playing Notre Dame. It is the fifth straight postseason game that Notre Dame has scored in the final minute or overtime.

I really don't care about Mourinho rejection, says De Bruyne I really don't care about Mourinho rejection, says De Bruyne I think if the coach wants to speak with you then you just do it. "You have to [accept] it - if you lose, you lose". But it is not about being the best but being perfectly prepared for the next game to be your best.

Two Soldiers Killed in Helicopter Crash at Fort Campbell Two Soldiers Killed in Helicopter Crash at Fort Campbell Fort Campbell reported the AH-64E Apache crash occurred in a training area and was part of a routine exercise. At a Friday briefing , a Pentagon spokesperson refused to call the string of incidents a "wave" or "crisis".