The US military is set to expand its presence in Australia, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announcing new troop and vehicle deployments while accusing China of undermining “peace and stability” in the region. The move comes soon after Beijing denounced Washington for promoting “nuclear proliferation” under a deal reached with Canberra last year.
In a joint statement issued following meetings between Austin and his Australian counterpart on Tuesday, the two countries agreed to station additional American troops on the continent, saying Washington would bolster its land, sea and air forces in order to counter Beijing.
“The United States and Australia share a vision of a region where countries can determine their own futures. Unfortunately, that vision is being challenged today,” Austin told reporters after the meeting, going on to claim that “China’s dangerous and coercive actions throughout the Indo- Pacific, including around Taiwan, and toward the Pacific Island countries and in the East and South China Seas, threaten regional peace and stability.”