A recent war exercise involving United States Marines seizing an island off the coast of Japan is being touted as part of the US military strategy to challenge China for control of the South China Sea. But little attention is being given to the potential role of the Marines being stationed in Darwin, writes Bevan Ramsden.
South China Sea
US exports to China totalled US$116 billion last year, while its imports reached $463 billion. The $347 billion deficit accounts for almost 70% of the US’s total trade deficit.
US President Donald Trump’s most influential senior advisers, Peter Navarro, who heads the National Trade Council, and US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross, call China “the biggest trade cheater in the world”.
It is rare that a critical article on Australia's military spending appears in one of the corporate newspapers but on October 25, the Melbourne Age published such an article by senior correspondent Daniel Flitton entitled “Does Australia's military need such tentacles of defence?”. Flitton argued that while Australian governments have “talked the good talk of regional co-operation and engagement for decades” their “staggering shopping list of new military hardware was signalling a very different message to the region.