News / Asia

US, Australia Finalize Deal to Expand American Troop Presence

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, third from left, and Defense Minister David Johnston, second from left, meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second from right, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, right, at the Australia-US Minist
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, third from left, and Defense Minister David Johnston, second from left, meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second from right, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, right, at the Australia-US Minist
VOA News

Top U.S. and Australian officials have signed a deal that expands American air and naval presence in northern Australia.

The agreement was inked Tuesday during a visit to Sydney by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Pentagon Chief Chuck Hagel, the finalization of a 2011 deal seen as a key part of the U.S. rebalance to Asia. The deal will put 2,500 Marines in Darwin by 2017.

Kerry said the agreement will help Australia and the U.S. deal with regional security issues of mutual importance.

"We do face new challenges. The South China Sea questions, the uncertainties in the Japan Sea and elsewhere, North Korea, and of course foreign fighters who go to various parts of the world and learn jihadism and come back with bad intentions. So there's a lot for us to work on together," said Kerry.

East China Sea, Darwin, AustraliaEast China Sea, Darwin, Australia
x
East China Sea, Darwin, Australia
East China Sea, Darwin, Australia


Kerry and Hagel later discussed a wide range of security issues with their Australian counterparts, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister David Johnston.

The U.S. and Australian leaders sought to allay concerns that their countries' closer military relationship is aimed at containing China's rise, as Beijing claims. 

Kerry said the U.S. does not want "conflict and confrontation" with China, but hopes Beijing can become a "cooperative partner" on the global stage. 

Earlier Tuesday, Bishop told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that both countries are only trying to support the "long-term peace, stability and prosperity of our region."

Ahead of the Tuesday talks, Hagel insisted Washington is firmly committed to the Asia rebalance, saying the U.S. is a "Pacific power" that is "not going anywhere."

The U.S. and many of its Asian allies are concerned that China is acting aggressively towards the neighbors with which it has territorial disputes.

At an ASEAN meeting that wrapped up earlier this week in Myanmar, also known as Burma, Kerry pushed unsuccessfully for parties in the disputes to agree to refrain from provocative actions.

China's foreign ministry responded to the proposal by accusing Washington of stoking tensions in the region.

A State Department spokesman said Monday that Washington will monitor the disputed South China Sea to assess whether de-escalatory steps are being taken.

The United States has accused China of asserting itself militarily in territorial disputes with Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines in the South China Sea, and competing claims with Japan over a group of uninhabited islands northeast of Taiwan.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Frankie Fook-lun Leung from: Los Angeles
August 12, 2014 1:14 PM
This kind of bilateral arrangement reinforces China's Paranoia that China is being contained by USA and its allies, big and small. US-China relationship will be in a period of tension and possible hostility despite those diplomatic niceties.

by: Sam Chow from: Hong Kong
August 12, 2014 6:04 AM
China's claim to the Spratly Islands has been there long before territorial waters was extended from 12 miles to 120 miles. US is giving false hopes to Vietnam and the Phillippines in a war China will never give up, and the US could never win. It spoils bilateral relations and regional cooperation with China, driving it towards Russia.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More