India and China 'cannot be contained', says Australian Defence MinisterApr 27, 5:25 pm
Canberra, April 27 (ANI): Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith has said that it is impossible to contain India and China. The Herald Sun quoted him as saying that military collaboration between Australia and United States was not a response to the Asian countries about their rising influence, Herald Sun reports. Touring nuclear-powered submarine USS Michigan at Western Australia's HMAS Stirling naval base, Smith denied that China was a military threat to the region. Smith denied reports that America's rising military presence in Australia was a direct response to China's armed expansion. "We are going through a period where strategic influence is moving to our part of the world - strategic influence, political influence, economic influence, Smith said.It's not just the rise of China, it's the rise of India, the rise of the ASEAN economies combined, and the ongoing strength of the Japanese economy, he added. He said a strong American presence in the Asia-Pacific region is needed to ensure peace and prosperity. Smith estimates that the America's bilateral relationship with China, as well as China's relationship with India, would dominate world politics over the next 50 years. The Australian defence minister said increasing cooperation with US armed forces, including US Marines rotating through Darwin and more visits by US warships to Australian naval bases, was 'very a much a joint exercise' and not prompted by either side. Smith also said that US aircrafts would also be given greater access to Australian airfields and bases in the Northern Territory, including RAAF Tindal and RAAF Darwin. (ANI)
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