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"China’s motives in seeking a foothold in Vanuatu are unclear."

Posted April 11, 2018 into Politics by John Birmingham

I keep reading this phrase, or variations on it in articles about China's purported interest in building a military base on Vanuatu.

The motives seem pretty clear to me.

And to the South China Morning Post too:

Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, said that any future naval or airbase in Vanuatu would “give China a foothold for operations to coerce Australia, outflank the US and its base on US territory at Guam, and collect intelligence in a regional security crisis”.

Highlighting Beijing’s long-term maritime ambitions in the Asia-Pacific, a Beijing-based military expert, who requested anonymity, said the establishment of a dual-use station in Vanuatu would help China to counter the quadrilateral alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India.

One minor, enjoyable spin off from this story? The toy-throwing tantrum by News Limited because it got scooped.

16 Responses to ‘"China’s motives in seeking a foothold in Vanuatu are unclear."’

insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted April 11, 2018
I understand the enjoyment although I would never soil myself by even thinking about looking at anything by News Ltd.

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jl mumbles...

Posted April 11, 2018
China plays long ball. See also their activities in Africa and Central Asia.

jason is gonna tell you...

Posted April 16, 2018
Listen to this podcast and it demonstrates the level of thinking in China. They will wield the economic power first. The military is a secondary issue.

Best to be friends I reckon.

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted April 11, 2018
Well, I guess this means a few things.

1 We will and should bail out Vanu we spent to much when the chinks coma claimin.

2 We extract a pound of fkn flesh for these dumb fks letting it happen. AFTER that though we start being good fkn neighbours and spend a little more and help a little fkn more too.

3 I see NO reason why we should not have small rotational detachments on some of these islands....and that includes PNG a INDONESIA CAN GO AND GET FKD!

Have a base or two...set it up, set up infrastructure and USE LOCALS...really get them engaged in the running etc.

I seriously think we should have more than 1 its more like 5 or 8 small bases dotted about our north. Some Army, maybe some nay and some airforce. Help protect them, EEZ and the likes.

Its onlt taken until I got home before I could log in...somthing fkn weird arse happening from the work lappy. FK KNOWS! really.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted April 12, 2018
Havock for Foreign Minister.

Brother PorkChop mutters...

Posted April 12, 2018
I did a job in Samoa a while ago and whilst I realise American Samoa is right there, Australia via the senior service had a small presence. We had a Lt Commander and a CPO there to liaise and keep the provided patrol boat running. I spent quite a bit of time with the CPO and am still in touch. This type of thing would be all that was needed in Vanuatu, Solomons and the like.

HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 13, 2018
I'm thinking and thats dangerous.

We do we not have a Pacific Defence Force?

I dont know, say perhaps a mini version of NATO, but here in the Pacific, southern part at least, tweak the charter of course. These Islands have very little income, and thats something that also needs addressing but I keep thinking that company sized groups from the representative islands into a Battalion or short regiment, underwritten by perhaps Britan, US, France and Australia, hell toss in the Kiwis too.

Set up several small bases, rotation deployment, training and all that sort of stuff, rotational command?

Money spend on wages will flow back, training in specialist fields will also flow back. There has to be a way.

Dirk reckons...

Posted April 13, 2018
Hmm that PaTO thing. Where did I pick up that before, JB? :)

Matthew F. swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 13, 2018
+++underwritten by perhaps Britan, US, France and Australia+++

What if/when the others won't sign up?

Not trying for a gotcha here, I'm genuinely curious. What would your contingency plan look like if none of those other three came on board?

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted April 13, 2018
hmm. Well I think like most things when looking for investors, they need skin in the game so to speak. I'm wondering how the likes of Malayasia / Singapore / Brunei, plus the islands above would go. That would make an interesting consortium. But to be honest, I would go it alone, we waste BILLIONS lets face it and I could not see this being a billion dollar a year exercise.

Plus, what does it give us...barrier to entry, bring them further up to speed, start looking at what other industries items are possible.

Still not sure on a lot of things really, but fisheries and protection is a big one! that helps keep eyes on as well.

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted April 15, 2018

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted April 12, 2018
Speaker 1: those damned inscrutable orientals what are they thinking with offering funds to Vanuatu to build that airport/seabase

South China Newspaper: the.." establishment of a dual-use station in Vanuatu would help China to counter the quadrilateral alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India.

Speaker 1: I guess we will never know.

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted April 12, 2018
The constant chatter between the Chinese bases and US aircraft on patrol in those environs is worth a listen.
"Foreign military aircraft, this is Chinese navy. You are approaching our military alert zone. Leave immediately to avoid misjudgement."
"I am a US military aircraft conducting lawful military activities outside national airspace. I am operating with due regard as required under international law."

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NBlob mutters...

Posted April 13, 2018
You know how it is, you prop up one junta and an hour later you are hungry again.
@BPC I'd be very keen to know more of you're experience. I have a mate of a mate who was consulting on fisheries compliance in the South Pacific, his assessment was, uh, not hopeful.

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HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted April 13, 2018
AND another thing comes to mind. WHY THE FK do we still have an outdated, out fkn moded stupid as fk set up with the Security council and these fktards like china and russia or anybody on the council being able to VETO. ITS BULLSHIT. The UN set up needs to be canned!

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Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted April 15, 2018
The Chinese have studied their history, finally got around to reading up on Mahan's book concerning sea power, and realize that they need to dominate the sea lanes near their ports.

On a purely cynical, realpolitik level, they aren't doing anything that the United States didn't do to Central and South America. And it is what Japan attempted to do from contact with Perry all the way to 1945.

The big question is whether or not to do anything about it.

These days . . . I'm kinda meh on it.

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