B-1 bombers coming to Australia to deter Beijing’s South China Sea ambitions: US

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The US military plans to station B-1 strategic bombers and surveillance aircraft in Australia as part of efforts to deter Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea, a senior US government official has revealed in comments later downplayed by the Australian government.

During testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, US Defence Department Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Shear announced that in addition to the movement of US Marine and Army units around the Western Pacific region, “we will be placing additional Air Force assets in Australia as well, including B-1 bombers and surveillance aircraft.” Continue reading

Australia at risk of becoming an island as Pacific prospers

PORT VILA, Vanuatu — First it was the Pacific Century, then the Asia Pacific Century, then the Asian Century with a recent nod towards the Chinese Century. Now we are hearing of the Indo-Pacific Century. Hollywood to Bollywood, as one US military officer put it recently.

A great sweep of ocean from India to the eastern shores of California is the strategic big picture, we are told. Continue reading

Australia’s Place in the “Asian Century”

Cultural imperialism is reshaping the Australian culture while its economic and miltary clout is forcing it to pivot towards the Asian giant and distance itself further from the United States.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government has developed a bold plan for embracing the “Asian Century.” Can words be turned into deeds?

The Asian century is rich, restless and already 12 years old. And, of all nations, Australia stands to be profoundly affected by this era of rapid change – whether the region resolves into a golden age of prosperity and human development or collapses in strategic turmoil. Continue reading