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U.S. Plans to Send B-52 Bombers to Australia in Effort to Counter China & More Trending News

 

SYDNEY—The U.S. is laying the groundwork for additional deployment of long-range B-52 bombers in strategic northern Australia, drawing criticism from China, which warns the transfer may spark an arms race in the area.

A brand new, U.S.-funded aircraft-parking apron at an Australian air drive base close to the city of Katherine shall be in a position to accommodate up to six B-52 plane, a spokesperson for Australia’s protection division stated. The improve is also utilized by different plane and can improve Australia’s capability to practice with different allies, the spokesperson stated.

Basing the long-range bombers in northern Australia would permit the U.S. to mission extra energy over the disputed South China Sea and deter Chinese actions there, some navy consultants stated. Northern Australia already hosts U.S. Marines for a part of the 12 months and has grow to be a key coaching floor for U.S. and allied forces, together with plane.

“The U.S.-Australia alliance is a cornerstone of U.S. foreign and security policy,” U.S. Defense Department Spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Meiners stated. Both nations are “committed to evolving the alliance to effectively respond to the strategic environment.”

Last week, the Biden administration forged China as the best hazard to American safety in a brand new protection technique, and known as for renewed efforts to construct the navy capabilities wanted to deter Beijing. The U.S. has additionally been searching for to shore up its community of alliances in the Pacific, a strategically necessary area with key delivery lanes and navy bases, to function a counterweight to elevated Chinese exercise.

U.S. officers view the B-52, which has flown for many years and may carry extra weapons than another Air Force jet, as essential to offering an efficient deterrent towards adversaries similar to China and Russia, The Wall Street Journal has beforehand reported. The U.S. is searching for to improve the fleet, which might fly long-range missions from bases in the Pacific similar to Guam, however the planes want new engines and different retrofits to lengthen their efficiency and vary.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stated the transfer may undermine stability.



Photo:

Kyodonews/Zuma Press

When requested in regards to the potential deployment of B-52s in northern Australia at a press briefing on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman

Zhao Lijian

warned that it could escalate regional tensions, undermine peace and stability and will set off an arms race. He stated cooperation between close by nations shouldn’t goal any third celebration.

“China urges parties concerned to abandon the outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality and narrow geopolitical mind-set, and do more things that are good for regional peace and stability,” he stated.

The upgrades on the Tindal air base, about 200 miles southeast of Darwin, are per beforehand introduced plans to deepen navy cooperation between Australia and the U.S., officers from each nations stated.

After top-level bilateral conferences final 12 months, Australia and the U.S. dedicated to enhanced air cooperation by way of the rotational deployment of all varieties of U.S. plane to Australia for coaching and workout routines. The two nations additionally joined with the U.Okay. to create a safety partnership known as Aukus, which can assist Australia to develop nuclear-powered submarines.

Officials didn’t say when the B-52s may arrive, however indicated they might rotate by way of the area like U.S. Marines, which at present deploy to northern Australia in the course of the area’s dry season. U.S. and Australian officers stated that B-52s have participated in joint workout routines in Australia in the previous.

Paul Dibb, a former deputy secretary in Australia’s protection division, stated searching for to deploy B-52 bombers in northern Australia is a smart response to current Chinese actions in the world, together with one incident in which Australia accused China of shining a laser at a surveillance aircraft and one other the place a Chinese jet launched harmful chaff close to an Australian plane.

“It’s time to respond,” he stated, arguing that China has been in a position to function too freely in the area.

Although B-52s can carry nuclear weapons, Mr. Dibb stated stationing plane with nuclear capabilities in northern Australia could be a provocative transfer that will possible trigger a furor domestically. Still, he stated the temper may change if there’s a navy disaster involving China, which some Western officers concern may launch an invasion of Taiwan in the approaching years. China’s Communist Party considers Taiwan part of China, and Beijing has vowed to take management of the island by drive if mandatory.

Plans to accommodate B-52s in northern Australia had been reported earlier by the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Write to Mike Cherney at [email protected]

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U.S. Plans to Send B-52 Bombers to Australia in Effort to Counter China

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