China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu speaks during a news conference in Beijing in this December 7, 2010 file photo. The People's Republic of China says it will increase bi-lateral trade with the African continent. (REUTERS/David Gray), a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
China against US troops in Australia
Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:17PM
China has criticized the deployment of US troops in Australia's north, saying that the move may not be quite appropriate or in the interest of the region.
“It may not be quite appropriate to intensify and expand military alliances and may not be in the interest of countries within this region," AFP quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Weimin as saying at a news briefing in the capital, Beijing, on Wednesday.
Liu added,” China believes that peaceful development and cooperation is a trend of the times and is the mainstream of the foreign policy of countries within this region, especially against the backdrop of sluggish economic growth.”
Australia will play host to a US Marine taskforce of 2,500 troops by 2016. The first deployment of around 250 American troops will be sent to Darwin in north Australia in mid-2012.
The US troops will conduct exercises and training on a rotational basis on Australian bases with the Australian Defense Force troops. The move comes as the United States is drawing down forces in Afghanistan and Iraq after years of occupying both nations.
“It is a new agreement to expand the existing collaboration between the Australian Defense Force and the US Marine Corps and the US Air Force," Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Wednesday.
“Over a number of years we intend to build on this in a staged way,” she added.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama insisted on Wednesday that the deployment of US troops in northern Australia should not be seen as a threat to China.
"The notion that we fear China is a mistake. The notion that we are looking to exclude China is a mistake," Obama stated.