United States President Barak Obama made a surprising announcement on his trip to Australia. During a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the US President announced an expansion of the U.S. military presence in Australia. According to President Barack Obama, “the United States plans to position more U.S. personnel and equipment here, and increase American access to bases”. Eventually the United States Marines will have a unit of nearly 2,500 men, but next year a company of 250 marines will be based in the northern city of Darwin.Earlier the US President had insisted that the U.S. did not fear China but later announced the security agreement. For its part, China reacted rapidly by forewarning that the growth of the U.S. into the continent was inappropriate and more analysis would be essential.President Obama noted that the deployment was “significant,” and said it would develop stronger cooperation between the two countries. United States officials stressed the pact was not trying to build a permanent American existence in the country.“It also allows us to meet the demands of a lot of partners in the region that want to feel that they’re getting the training, they’re getting the exercises, and that we have the presence that’s necessary to maintain the security architecture in the region,” Obama said.During his news conference with Prime Minister Gillard, the president evaded inquiries about whether the security pact was geared at slowing China. But he said the U.S. would continue to convey clear communication that China should acknowledge responsibilities associated with being a world power. “It’s important for them to play by the rules of the road,” he said. And he reiterated that the U.S is not apprehensive of China’s prominence.The U.S. and smaller Asian countries are apprehensive about China’s dominance over vast areas of the Pacific which are considered to be international waters, and reigniting old territorial disputes. Last year China’s defense spending increased sharply to nearly $160 billion, and its military tested a new stealth jet fighter and inaugurated its first aircraft carrier.President Obama’s is at the second stop on a nine-day tour of the Asia-Pacific region. The President made the remarks after hosting an economic summit in Honolulu and making a ten hour flight to Australia. The travel required that he cross the international dateline. The president said he was having a little trouble with the time change, “I’m trying to figure out what time zone I’m in here.”President Barack Obama addresses the Parliament on Thursday. Before returning to the U.S. he will fly to the sight of where the Marines will be deployed next year.
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