US: Australia Troop Deployment ‘Not about China’

Posted December 8th, 2011 at 1:45 am (UTC-5)
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A senior U.S. defense department official says the recently announced plan to deploy U.S. troops in Australia is not aimed at containing Chinese influence in the region.

U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy said Thursday that she has told her Chinese counterparts that the move “really isn't about China.”

Flournoy met Wednesday with Chinese officials in Beijing for the first high-level talks since President Barack Obama announced plans in November to deploy up to 2,500 Marines in Australia.

Mr. Obama said the agreement will help maintain security in the Asia-Pacific region, though some have speculated the move is also aimed at countering China's rising military power.

China has called the deployment “inappropriate,” saying such a decision should first be discussed in the international community.