So, maybe the Chinese want a military base on Vanuatu?
Well, instead of complaining about it, we've got lots of Northern land not being used. Maybe not many great harbours, but there's probably an adequate one up there somewhere on Cape York. Also, some aboriginal settlements with limited economic activity.
My modest proposal: let the Chinese build one up there. Benefits: economic activity in an underdeveloped area of Australia; more people with money to spend in Cairns; our military intelligence has an easy place to spy on to get good knowledge of how the Chinese military operates; if they start misbehaving, we just send in the trained attack crocodiles. Or our fighters from the "bare base" known as RAAF Base Scherger, near Weipa.
Downsides: they'll probably blow up every reef within 100 km just as a precaution. But we can keep the bond money if they do that.
Come on, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.