Marked rise in number of US Marines to train in Australia

US has announced plans to considerably increase the number of US Marines to give training in Australia as a means to check growing Chinese clout in the region. Australian Defence minister Marise Ann Payne has announced that about 1587 US Marine Corps will spend 6 months on training in the northern part of the country. The number marks a 27 percent increase over its 2017 rotation under the Force Posture Initiatives. Payne reiterated the importance of the Force Posture Initiatives which are vital for security and stability of the region. The initiative was first launched in 2011 as a part of the US “pivot” to Asia. Gradually it has become a vital proof of US commitment to the region amid growing Chinese dominance in the region due to differences on the issue of South China Sea.

China has always laid claims over the South China Sea which is a critical trade route and has huge quantities of oil and natural gas. China has been building artificial islands over the reefs with facilities of ports and air-strips.

US Marines under the Force Posture initiatives will impart training on personnel from Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines. The move is bound to tickle China in the environment ripe with the trade war. China will not prefer such arrangements between the US and Asian nations. The Marines are expected to bring more military equipment which will include F-18 jets, helicopters etc. Such deployment is going to hit bilateral relations between China and Australia.

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