Thursday, November 17, 2011

US Sends Troops to Australia to Curb China Aggressiveness

US will not tolerate an aggressive China. China had shown interest from taking over Siberia, an island in the Philippines, Taiwan, and Okinawa. If China thinks America has war fatigue and domestic problems, China would think twice to cross the US.

(NY Times) CANBERRA, Australia — President Obama announced Wednesday that the United States planned to deploy 2,500 Marines in Australia to shore up alliances in Asia, but the move prompted a sharp response from Beijing, which accused Mr. Obama of escalating military tensions in the region.

The agreement with Australia amounts to the first long-term expansion of the American military’s presence in the Pacific since the end of the Vietnam War. It comes despite budget cuts facing the Pentagon and an increasingly worried reaction from Chinese leaders, who have argued that the United States is seeking to encircle China militarily and economically.

The president said the moves were not intended to isolate China, but they were an unmistakable sign that the United States had grown warier of its intentions.

China has invested heavily in military modernization and has begun to deploy long-range aircraft and a more able deep-sea naval force, and it has asserted territorial claims to disputed islands that would give it broad sway over oil and gas rights in the East and South China Seas.

Some analysts in China and elsewhere say they fear that the moves could backfire, risking a cold war-style standoff with China.

The president is to fly north across the continent to Darwin, a frontier port and military outpost across the Timor Sea from Indonesia, which will be the center of operations for the coming deployment. The first 200 to 250 Marines will arrive next year, with forces rotating in and out and eventually building up to 2,500, the two leaders said.

The United States will not build new bases on the continent, but will use Australian facilities instead. Mr. Obama said that Marines would rotate through for joint training and exercises with Australians, and the American Air Force would have increased access to airfields in the nation’s Northern Territory.

Analysts say that Chinese leaders have been caught off guard by what they view as an American campaign to stir up discontent in the region. China may have miscalculated in recent years by restating longstanding territorial claims that would give it broad sway over development rights in the South China Sea, they say. But they argue that Beijing has not sought to project military power far beyond its shores, and has repeatedly proposed to resolve territorial disputes through negotiations.

The United States portrays itself as responding to a new Chinese assertiveness in the region that has alarmed core American allies. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote a recent article in Foreign Policy laying out an expansive case for American involvement in Asia, and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta characterized China’s military development as lacking transparency and criticized its assertiveness in the regional waters.