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The government of Vanuatu will soon settle into a suite of new buildings funded by China, a move which has reignited concerns about Beijing’s reach in the South Pacific nation.

  • This initiative underscores China’s strategic interests in the Pacific islands, where it has funded major infrastructure upgrades across the archipelago, competing with Western rivals for influence.
  • Vanuatu is an island country consisting of a chain of 13 principal and many smaller islands located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
  • These islands are situated approximately east of Australia.
  • The islands extend north-south in an irregular Y shape.
  • The northernmost group is the Torres Islands, and southward from there, the main islands include Vanua Lava, Santa Maria (Gaua), Espiritu Santo, Aoba (Ambae), Maéwo, Pentecost, Malakula, Ambrym, Épi, Éfaté, Erromango, Tanna, and Anatom.
  • Formerly the jointly administered Anglo-French condominium of the New Hebrides, Vanuatu achieved independence in 1980.
  • The capital, largest city, and commercial centre is Port-Vila (Vila), on Éfaté.