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2018-04-10

平分太平洋第一步:解放軍萬那杜海軍基地


Comment
這可是大事:中國從西向,現在變成東向。
萬那杜是一個,下一個是東加。

中國是先借錢讓利,現在中國以應戰萬那杜外債的近一半(47%)—從2013年開始即速成長,大約也是在那時候,中國瘋狂的造島。

北京要與美國分管太平洋,不是說說而已,已經著手做很久了。
基本假想是:美國是全球霸權,中國當然可以。
近的說,是能繞過麻六甲困境的油田。
遠的說,一旦失去太平洋,美國也就無足輕重了。



澳洲媒體披露 大陸有意在萬那杜建軍事基地    中央社20180410
澳洲媒體「費爾法克斯」(Fairfax Media)今天披露,中國大陸已開始著手與南太平洋島國萬那杜(Vanuatu)商討,在當地建設永久軍事基地事宜,此舉恐激化區域緊張。

「費爾法克斯」引述未具名消息來源指出,中國大陸與萬那杜間尚無正式提案,但已初步討論關於在萬那杜興建完整軍事基地。報導指稱,中國大陸可能在如此接近澳洲的地方打造軍事前哨一事,已在美國與澳洲最高層之間有所討論。

澳洲外長畢紹普(Julie Bishop)今天表示,萬那杜官員向她保證,沒有來自北京的正式提案;但被問到中萬之間有無任何非官方對談一事,畢紹普略為停頓。

她告訴澳洲廣播公司(ABC)說:「萬那杜政府已說沒有這類提案,但中國在全球各地接觸、參與基礎建設投資活動卻是事實。我仍有信心,澳洲才是萬那杜的戰略夥伴選項。」

「費爾法克斯」報導指稱,中國大陸與萬那杜間的初步討論包含一項初始取得協議,根據協議,中國大陸海軍船艦將能在當地泊靠,進行加油與整補,最終建設成一個完整的軍事基地

China eyes Vanuatu military base in plan with global ramifications 
China has approached Vanuatu about building a permanent military presence in the South Pacific in a globally significant move that could see the rising superpower sail warships on Australia’s doorstep.
Fairfax Media can reveal there have been preliminary discussions between the Chinese and Vanuatu governments about a military build-up in the island nation.
While no formal proposals have been put to Vanuatu's government, senior security officials believe Beijing’s plans could culminate in a full military base.  The prospect of a Chinese military outpost so close to Australia has been discussed at the highest levels in Canberra and Washington.
China is eyeing Vanuatu as a possible military base location.
A base less than 2000 kilometres from the Australian coast would allow China to project military power into the Pacific Ocean and upend the long-standing strategic balance in the region, potentially increasing the risk of confrontation between China and the United States.  It would be the first overseas base China has established in the Pacific, and only its second in the world.
Australian intelligence and security figures, along with their partners in the United States and New Zealand, have been watching with concern as Beijing deepens its influence with Pacific island governments through infrastructure building and loans.
Beijing has been showering Vanuatu, which has a population of about 270,000, with hundreds of millions of dollars in development money and last week committed to building a new official residence for Prime Minister Charlot Salwai as well as other government buildings.
Multiple sources said Beijing’s military ambition in Vanuatu would likely be realised incrementally, possibly beginning with an access agreement that would allow Chinese naval ships to dock routinely and be serviced, refuelled and restocked.  This arrangement could then be built on.
The move could see the rising superpower sail warships on Australia’s doorstep.
One of the most substantial projects funded by Chinese money is a major new wharf on the north island of Espiritu Santo.  Jonathan Pryke, a Pacific islands expert with the Lowy Institute, said the Luganville wharf had "raised eyebrows in defence, intelligence and diplomatic circles" in Canberra because while its stated purpose is to host cruise ships, it had the potential to service naval vessels as well.
The wharf is close to an international airport that China is helping Vanuatu upgrade.
Fairfax Media understands there are senior figures within China’s People’s Liberation Army who would like to move quickly to establish a proper base on Vanuatu.
Vanuatu's high commissioner in Canberra, Kalfau Kaloris, said his country's Foreign Ministry was "not aware of any such proposal".
A spokeswoman for the Chinese embassy in Canberra declined to comment.
China has already projected its military strength into the sea by building military capacity on a number of reclaimed reefs in the South China Sea, prompting condemnation from the international community, including Australia. Vanuatu is one of the few countries that steadfastly support Beijing’s controversial island-building program.
Comparisons have been made in Canberra and Washington to methods China has used in the Indian Ocean, where it has recently established its first military base in the African nation of Djibouti and is reportedly considering military facilities in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  The Djibouti base features a port, helicopter base, hangars and accommodation for up to 10,000 troops.
Tonga has also been mentioned in government circles as a possible site for a Chinese base, though recent discussion has centred around the intense efforts China has been putting into Vanuatu.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visited Vanuatu with Prince Charles on Saturday in a diplomatic tour that Fairfax Media has been told was aimed at demonstrating the merits of the Commonwealth’s commitment to a free and open system of international rules.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Djibouti's President Ismail Omar struck a deal to establish China's first overseas naval base in Africa.
Defence experts said a military base on Vanuatu, which would likely be followed by bases elsewhere, would allow the PLA to challenge the US’s post-war dominance of the Pacific, which is strongly supported by Australia and has been seen as a cornerstone of Australia’s security.
“If it turns out there are one or more Chinese bases ... what it has the ability to do is challenge, and make much more challenging, American access into the region,” said Charles Edel, a former adviser to former US secretary of state John Kerry.
“Chinese presence in Vanuatu, while today about fishing access and commercial trade, tomorrow could represent a threat to Australia’s northern approaches."
Dr Edel, who is now at the US Studies Centre, said this would change Australia’s external security environment in a way not seen “probably since the 1940s”.
Such a Chinese presence would make the seas “more crowded” for the Royal Australian Navy, though professional forces could manage this safely and it would not stop Australian or US forces operating where they needed to, he said.
He added that access to plentiful fisheries to feed China’s fast-rising demand for protein were likely one reason for consolidating its influence in the South Pacific.
Zack Cooper, a former White House and Pentagon official now at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said he had expected China to establish bases in the Pacific and predicted more to follow.
Dr Cooper said with the US focused on north Asia, Washington would expect Australia to stop the South Pacific from sliding too deeply into Beijing’s hands.
“I think it is important that Australia appreciate that China is far away but Chinese activity is definitely affecting Australia in a much more proximate way.”
China has set a pattern in the Indian Ocean whereby it builds infrastructure paid for by concessional Chinese loans which the local government cannot repay.  When the government defaults, China enacts a “debt-equity swap” and takes over the asset.
China reportedly accounts for nearly half of Vanuatu’s $440 million foreign debt.
Beijing last week announced it would pay for and build a new official house for the Vanuatu president, a new Finance Ministry building and an extension on the Foreign Ministry building at a reported total cost of about $36 million.
Chinese aid has previously paid for the parliamentary building and the prime minister’s office building, a 1000-seat convention centre and a major sports stadium, according to reports.  Chinese builders are putting the finishing touches on a $14 million school that will be reportedly the biggest education facility in the South Pacific.
Early last year, Beijing donated 14 military vehicles to Vanuatu.
There are other signs that Pacific governments are increasingly beholden to Beijing, such as Taiwanese trade offices closing in the region as local governments bow to pressure from the Chinese government, which insists Taiwan is part of mainland China and should not be recognised even tacitly as an independent government.


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