Talk of Chinese base on Vanuatu sparks concern

Report puts focus on Beijing's role in Pacific nation and region, especially its aid schemes

The small Pacific island state of Vanuatu rarely attracts global attention, aside from occasional reports about natural disasters or enticing travel stories about the local beaches and scuba diving.

But the nation, which gained independence from British and French rule only in 1980, has been at the centre of an international diplomatic storm in recent weeks over concerns about China's growing role in the Pacific.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2018, with the headline 'Talk of Chinese base on Vanuatu sparks concern'. Print Edition | Subscribe