Australia and New Zealand warn China against Vanuatu base

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Australia and New Zealand have warned China against building any military base in the South Pacific after media reports that the Chinese have proposed a permanent stronghold in Vanuatu.

Fairfax Media reported Tuesday that China has approached the former French colony about building a permanent military presence in the South Pacific.

Vanuatu has denied the reports. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Vanuatu has also assured his government that "no such request has been made" by China.

Turnbull said Australia "would view with great concern the establishment of any foreign military bases in those Pacific island countries."

New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said her country takes "a strong position in the Pacific against militarization."