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U.S. joins Australian plan to develop new Pacific naval base

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on November 17, 2018 - Duration: 01:00s

U.S. joins Australian plan to develop new Pacific naval base

The United States will join Pacific ally Australia to build a naval base on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island according to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Rough cut - no reporter narration.

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U.S. joins Australian plan to develop new Pacific naval base

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION The United States will join Pacific ally Australia to build a naval base on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said, amid a push by regional powers to lock in alliances and secure access to key infrastructure.

The plan, which comes on the heels of China's emergence as a possible developer of the deep-water site, was unveiled on Saturday (November 17) at a Asia-Pacific forum hosted by Papua New Guinea where world leaders voiced competing visions on how trade should be conducted in the region.

Analysts say a Chinese presence on Manus Island could impact the West's ability to navigate the Pacific while offering Beijing close access to U.S. bases in Guam.

Manus Island was a major U.S. naval base during the Second World War, playing a key role in Washington's Pacific strategy.

Recently, it has hosted one of Australia's two controversial offshore immigration detention centres.

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