Melbourne (AFP) Nov 8, 2010
The United States vowed Monday to defend its interests in Asia and beef up its regional military presence, reflecting worries over rising China, ahead of major talks with Australia.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates underlined Washington's role in Asia in a newspaper commentary as they met their Australian counterparts at a meeting in Melbourne.
Without explicitly mentioning China, Clinton and Gates wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald that Asia presented an array of security challenges including piracy, terrorist threats and "the emergence of rising powers."
"As a Pacific nation, the United States is committed to meeting these challenges and defending our interests in Asia," they wrote.
With America's future hinging on "Asia's success," the United States is "enhancing our defence presence and posture in the Pacific, including the modernisation of our basing arrangements and air, naval and missile defence capabilities," the commentary said.
Ahead of Monday's Australian-US ministerial talks, officials said the two allies were looking at expanding the American military's access to Australian bases and ports and holding more joint exercises.
Forging stronger military ties with Australia was part of a wider strategy to build up the US military's presence in the region, deploying more ships and forces to Southeast Asia, officials said.
The talks in Melbourne coincide with China's increasingly assertive stance in the Pacific, with Japan and other Asian neighbours locked in territorial disputes with Beijing.
Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith said on Sunday that China's rise had been much quicker than anticipated and stressed that it needed to be open about its objectives as Beijing "eclipsed" the military might of the Americans.
"We have made the point to China, both privately and publicly, that there does need to be transparency about China's military strategy," Smith told ABC television.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Sunday said Australia and the United States wanted to see China serve as a "force for good" in the world, working in cooperation with other countries and respecting a "rules-based framework."
US military officials and strategists have watched China's growing military and economic clout with concern, seeing Beijing as a potential threat to Washington's once unrivaled dominance of the Pacific.
Gates, however, insisted earlier that plans to bolster the US military's role in the Pacific were not designed to counter China but merely a bid to improve ties with Asian states.
In their newspaper commentary, Clinton and Gates praised Australia as a vital ally and confirmed that the two governments will sign an agreement for increasing cooperation on intelligence and surveillance efforts.
The "space situational awareness" partnership will allow the two countries to develop a better way to track objects in space over the southern hemisphere, including satellites, space debris and potential ballistic missiles launched from North Korea, officials said.
Monday's discussions, which were being held under tight security, were also expected to focus on the war in Afghanistan and NATO's plans to gradually hand over security to Afghan forces.
With NATO due to review war strategy at a summit later this month in Lisbon, Gillard on Sunday called for a clear transition plan that would be dictated by conditions in Afghanistan and not by any timeline.
Clinton and Gates paid tribute to Australia's contribution of 1,550 troops to the Afghan mission, saying "Australia is once more punching well above its weight with the largest non-NATO deployment of combat troops."
But they warned of difficult days ahead in the nine-year-old war.
"We recognise, as do our allies and partners, that the road ahead in Afghanistan will not be easy -- or short."
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
US senator sees 'confrontation' with China, war with Iran
Halifax, Canada (AFP) Nov 6, 2010
The United States faces a possible war with Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions and a "period of confrontation" with China over its currency, a top US lawmaker warned Saturday. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said his fellow conservative, fresh from their historic elections romp this week, support "bold" action to deal with Iran. If President Barack Obama "decides to be tough with Iran ... read more
NATO Defense Shield In Turkey May Threaten Iran, Russia|
Israel delays deployment of 'Iron Dome' anti-rocket system
Video Captures ABM Capabilities Of Distributed Aperture System For F-35
Orbital Launches MRT For Joint US/Japan Missile Defense Test
Iran lashes out at Russia for missile deal
Taiwan arrests double agent spying for China
Taiwan missile to target Chinese air bases, ports: report
South Korea favors short-range missiles
US drone strikes kill nine militants in Pakistan
LM TRACER Begins Test Flights Aboard Predator B MQ-9 UAS
US Army Plans Large Manned-Unmanned Demo
Three US drone strikes kill 11 militants in Pakistan
ManTech Awarded US Army Contract To Provide ECCS In Afghanistan
Hughes Undergoing Wideband Global SATCOM Certification
ORBIT To Supply Tri-Band Telemetry Tracking Systems To Patuxent River USNAWC
Raytheon To Provide Improved Track Correlation And Fusion Capability
Display System Concept For Elbit Systems Mission Training Center Approved
Global talks in Laos seek quicker removal of cluster bombs
Northrop Grumman's LEMV Program Completes Three Major Milestones
Europe tests amphibious military capacity in Senegal
U.S. arms deal raises concerns in Mideast
France wants jet fighter talks with Brazil on G20 sidelines
Military Radar Systems Stay On Priority Lists
Italy sells helicopters to Turkmenistan
Obama hails ties with 'world power' India
US vows to defend Asian interests ahead of Australia talks
Japan probes source of video leak in island row with China
US military seeks to expand presence in Asia: Gates
Boeing Installing Beam Control System On HEL Laser Demonstrator
Maritime Laser System Shows Higher Lethality At Longer Ranges
Northrop Grumman To Increase Efficiency For Next-Gen Military Laser Technology
Boeing Receives Task Order For Design Of Free Electron Laser Lab Demonstrator
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|