An Australian military surveillance plane has flown near disputed areas of the South China Sea, it emerged Wednesday, with the crew heard warning China’s navy it was on a freedom of navigation mission.
Tensions in the region have mounted since China transformed reefs in the South China Sea into small islands capable of supporting military facilities, a move the United States says threatens free passage in an area through which one-third of the world’s oil passes. Continue reading
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