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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid