As with all things that require vast amounts of manpower and capital, the Chinese are making swift advances in their space program. Despite threatening nearly the entire planet with a falling space station and dropping mysterious surveillance devices onto villages, the Chinese are on their way to becoming global leaders in space exploration. Chinese scientists recently developed plans to ‘colonize’ the moon with silkworms and launch a giant space laser into orbit – you know, for “peaceful” stuff. With all of this growth in their space program, it’s natural that the Chinese might be up to some more shadowy operations behind the scenes. Aren’t we all?
Whatever the Chinese are doing in Vanuatu, it’s got its neighbors spooked. Diplomats from Australia and New Zealand have expressed concern over a growing Chinese military presence on the small island nation. The Sydney Morning Herald notes that “access to open ocean can be useful for testing missile and space capabilities” and that “a future naval or air base in Vanuatu would give China a foothold to coerce Australia, outflank the US and its base on US territory at Guam, and collect intelligence in a regional security crisis.”