Vanuatu Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu has denied the report in Australian media that China approached Vanuatu about building a permanent military base on its territory.
He said reports in Fairfax Media that the two countries were in preliminary discussions were false.
“No-one in the Vanuatu Government has ever talked about a Chinese military base in Vanuatu of any sort,” he told Pacific Beat.
“We are a non-aligned country. We are not interested in militarisation, we are just not interested in any sort of military base in our country.”
Fairfax, citing unnamed sources, said no formal proposal had yet been made but the prospect of a Chinese military outpost so close to Australia had been discussed at the highest levels in Canberra and Washington.
“I’m not very happy about the standard of reporting in the Australia media,” Ralph Regenvanu said.
“I would hope the upsurge in the paranoia about China in Australia is not used to destroy or denigrate the good relationship Vanuatu has with Australia.”