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.