An article in The West Australian written by Nick Butterly from Canberra, gives this evaluation of the new U.S./Australia joint military efforts.
The Chinese have the capability to hit Australia with their current missile technology, but strategic analysts believe that Beijing would not waste its nuclear warheads on Australia. Gen. David Hurley of the Australian Army stated Australian and Chinese troops have trained together on a regular basis and in spite of this week's announcement that 2500 US marines would soon be stationed in Darwin, Australia will continue to have good relations with China.
Gen. Hurley denied that US deployment to Darwin would make Australia a target of China. "This is all about a training relationship, a regional involvement for enhancing security, not decreasing our security," Hurley said.
Professor Hugh White, from the Australian National University warned, the Gillard Government had allowed itself to be pulled into Washington's expanding rift with China. Professor White said the US- Australia alliance now gave the appearance of a pact against China. China is likely to retaliate against Australia, maybe by closing crucial diplomatic channels.
Read the full article.