In an interview with China News Agency reporter, Zhang Junshe, a senior investigator at the People’s Liberation Army Naval Military Studies Research Institute, discussed the United States and Australia signing of a 25-year agreement to increase military presence in Australia. Zhang pointed out that the agreement is, in fact, part of the U.S. Pacific rebalancing strategy. Zhang said, "The United States believes that, in recent years, Australia has been developing stronger economic ties with China and Sino-Australian trade development has been growing more rapidly. Americans are worried that the close Sino-Australia relationship will undermine its strategy to contain China. The United States wants to contain China in the Asia-Pacific region and to maintain its hegemonic position. Since America’s economic and military strength has declined, maintaining its relationship with Australia is particularly necessary."
Military Expert: Stationing American Troops in Australia Is More Symbolic than to Contain China
Zhang suggested that Darwin Harbor may become another American "super base" in the Asia-Pacific region. The real significance of Americans working on the base in Darwin is that, once something happens in the South China Sea, American military ships, submarines, and aircraft will be able to be stationed, in large quantities, at different bases in Australia. This is where [we] really need to be vigilant.
Zhang stressed that the U.S. military in Australia is more about its symbolic significance. Signing the agreement is also to display the further strengthening of the U.S.-Australian military defense strategy.
Source: China News Agency, August 14, 2014