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200 US Marines deploy to Australia, move irks Beijing

With the rise of China and India as powerful nations, some officials suspect that the United States is bolstering its military presence in the strategically vital Asia-Pacific region, with the arrival of 200 marines, part of a future force of 2,500, now rotating through Australia’s northern port of Darwin.

The move is being seen by some as a way to thwart disputes, strategic, political and economical, in this important part of the planet, according to a report by Reuters. Announced last November by President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the deployment was then portrayed as simply a way to increase bilateral military cooperation and training and not an effort meant to isolate China. The story further explains that it has caused concern in China as officials there are now questioning a US strategy which seems intent on encircling them.

The move has irked Beijing, but is reassuring to other Asian countries who wondered whether or not the current US administration cared about China’s increasing assertiveness. A story quotes Gillard as seeing the deployment as part of an ongoing US “global force posture,” which may promote peace and stability. Furthermore, the article states that Australian officials remarked last week that the nation may also allow the United States to operate long-range spy drones from their territory, which most likely would worry Chinese offcials.

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