ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

The Advocate can reveal this afternoon that Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, has told some of his closest advisors that he’s now reconsidering the plan to build a military base on the tiny South Pacific nation of Vanuatu – after Malcolm Turnbull voiced his concern.

The Prime Minister’s concerns were echoed by his Kiwi counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, who joined Malcolm in condemning the alleged plot to build a military base right under both our nation’s collective nose.

A short time ago, Malcolm spoke to the media regarding the nature of the phonecall and what he said to Xi Jinping.

“I said I was concerned with the move,” said Malcolm.

“Then I told him that he shouldn’t do it and I could tell that the tone of voice changed after I said that. It was almost like he was intimidated by me – and our friends in New Zealand to a lesser extent,”

“A bit of trivia for you, Jeff Bezos is worth more than the entire New Zealand Stock Exchange and their navy is smaller than Kerry Packer’s was at its height. Regardless, I think Xi got the message. No base in the South Pacific – or else.”

The international reaction to Mr Turnbull’s announcement has been mixed, however.

Malcolm was said to have winced mildly and sighed after learning the US President, Donald Trump said he did a ‘good job.’

According to a spokesman from the Chinese Embassy in Canberra, the conversation went a different direction to what Mr Turnbull said.

“We treasure our relationship with Australia,” she said.

“But we are building that base and there’s nothing you can do about it. Try and stop us.”

More to come.


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