Oz Defence Minister to ease China's concerns over US presence in Asia-Pacific
Sydney, June 3 (ANI): Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith has said he will attempt to allay Bejing's concerns over Canberra's strong bond with Washington in an upcoming meeting with Chinese officials.
During a speech in Singapore, Smith spoke of the 'positive impact' the U.S. was having on regional security in the Asia-Pacific, just hours after the Obama administration announced it was shifting more navy ships to the region.
According to Sky News, the move could increase tensions with China, whose leaders have expressed unhappiness over any larger US presence in the Asia-Pacific.
Shortly after arriving in Perth, Smith, who is due to fly to China on Monday, said he would assure officials that Australia's 40-year relationship with China would not be adversely affected by the US alliance.
"The point I will make to Chinese friends is that Australia has had a growing relationship with China," Smith told ABC Television's Insiders program.
"We now have a comprehensive relationship, very strong economically. We also have a growing military-to-military and defence-to-defence relationship which we continue to enhance," he said.
"None of that has been affected by our over 60-year alliance with the United States," he added. (ANI)
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