China denies planning to build military base in Vanuatu

Updated 2018-04-11 09:46:01

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has denied a report that the country is planning to set up a military base in Vanuatu.

"Fake news!" Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in English at a regular press briefing on Tuesday.

Australia's Fairfax Media reported earlier on Tuesday that China is in talks with Vanuatu to build a permanent military presence in the South Pacific.

Vanuatu has also denied the report.

"No-one in the Vanuatu government has ever talked about a Chinese military base in Vanuatu of any sort," Ralph Regenvanu, the island nation's foreign minister, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Tuesday.

"We are a non-aligned country. We are not interested in militarization," he added.

The Chinese Navy established its first overseas support base in the African country of Djibouti last year. The base enables China to better fulfill its international obligations in conducting escort missions, peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

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