The United States has conducted a survey of a Chinese-funded wharf in Vanuatu ahead of a military exercise by U.S. forces planned for the South Pacific later this year, the U.S. Marine Corps said on Saturday.
U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Curtis L. Hill told Reuters by email that a small contingent of Marines from 1 Marine Expeditionary Force based in California had conducted a site survey in preparation for the exercise that U.S. forces will hold.
“The site survey was conducted due to the likely participation of a Military Sealift Command support vessel in the exercise,” he said.
There is heightened interest in the wharf in Luganville town because it could be big enough to allow warships to dock at it. Its primary use is to cater for cargo vessels and ferries.