Some fear China could win from US spat with Marshall Islands

FILE – An aerial photo shows a small section of the atoll that has slipped beneath the water line only showing a small pile of rocks at low tide on Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands on Nov. 8, 2015. For decades, the tiny Marshall Islands has been a stalwart American ally. Its location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has made it a key strategic outpost for the U.S. military. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)

WELLINGTON – For decades, the tiny Marshall Islands has been a stalwart American ally. Its location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has made it a key strategic outpost for the U.S. military.