President Obama meets Aussie troops in Darwin, Australia: With

China's influence on the rise, the U.S. has found willing partners

in the region. But does the stationing of U.S. troops in Australia

send Beijing the right message?



People's Daily, People's Republic of China

Australia Should Avoid Helping America Hurt China's Interests


In allowing the long-term stationing of U.S. Marines on Australian soil, is Canberra running the risk of damaging Australian ties with its largest trading partner, China? According to this editorial from China's state-run People's Daily, Aussies had better tread carefully as they embrace Washington's new Pacific push.




November 16, 2011


People's Republic of China - People's Daily - Original Article (English)

President Obama lays a wreath to Australia's unknown soldier, Nov. 17. The announcement of U.S. plans to send troops and 're-engage' with the region has upset Beijing, even as it has pleased many local U.S. allies.


CCTV News, China [State-Run]: China opposes ASEAN talks on South China Sea, Nov. 17, 00:01:19RealVideo

U.S. President Barack Obama is in Australia today as part of a long-delayed visit. It has been reported that Obama will announce an expanded American military presence in Australia. The move is widely seen as a renewal of the U.S.-Australia alliance to keep China in check.


It is also being interpreted as Australia choosing between the two largest Asia-Pacific powers, the U.S. and China. Prime Minister Julia Gillard refuted that interpretation on Tuesday, saying, "It is well and truly possible for us, in this growing region of the world, to have an ally in the U.S. and to have deep friendships in our region, including with China."


Nevertheless, both Chinese and Australian media know that this is merely diplomatic parlance. Some Australians worry that this unfriendly move will damage their country's relations with its largest trade partner, China.


Apparently, Australia aspires to maximize the political and security benefits of its alliance with America while gaining the greatest economic benefit from China. But Gillard may be ignoring something: their economic cooperation with China poses no threat to the U.S., whereas the Australia-U.S. military alliance does serve to counter China.


Australia shouldn't try playing China for a fool. It will be impossible for Beijing to remain detached as Australia undermines China's security. Chinese society has real concern about Australia's acceptance of a greater U.S. military presence. This psychology will influence the long-term development of Australia-China relations.


Some Australians argue that China needs Australian resources to fuel its economy, and so the two countries rely on one another. It's true that China has few cards to play to counter Australia. In the short-term the U.S. military presence won't change matters.



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It remains to be seen how Australia will behave in the future and how China will respond. But one thing is certain - if Australia uses its military bases to help America harm Chinese interests, then it will be caught in the crossfire. Australia should at least prevent things from growing out of control.  



People here understand Canberra's difficulty in seeking a balance between the two powers and China values its friendship with Australia. However, there is a line that neither side should cross. Rather than merely uttering soothing words, Australia should cherish its friendship with China and show that it does.


Australia is nimble at navigating between great powers. We believe Australia has the wisdom to deal with the U.S.-China game in order to guarantee its own prosperity and security.


Australia should make endeavors to defuse, rather than aggravate, misgivings between the U.S. and China. This will bring greater benefits to Australia's interests and regional peace. In this regard, Australia can be a huge force for good.


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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US, Nov. 17, 5:49pm]


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