“Australia is the gateway to New Zealand – we know hobbits have weapons of mass destruction”
Australia, which tries to tread a fine line between supporting its closest ally, the US, and not upsetting China, its biggest trading partner, yesterday rejected a proposal to base a US nuclear aircraft carrier group near Perth, saying it did not want American bases in the country.
The idea was raised in a Pentagon-commissioned report by the influential Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, which suggested relocating a carrier and its support fleet from the US east coast to HMAS Stirling, an Australian naval base south of Perth – as part of the latest version of the Cold War popular with Washington politicians.
But the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, ruled it out, saying that while negotiations were under way to increase US navy access to the base, Australia would not be hosting a US aircraft carrier group, which typically including submarines, destroyers and fighter jets. “We have made it crystal clear from the first moment – we don’t have United States military bases in Australia, and we’re not proposing to,” he said…
The US, which has announced plans to shift the bulk of its naval fleet to the Pacific by 2020, has been forging closer military ties with countries in the region, in an effort to counter China’s growing military strength. It already has a carrier strike group based in the Japanese port of Yokosuka.
Mail me a penny postcard when China decides to waste money to station military bases in Canada, Guatemala, Greenland and a carrier group circling off Chesapeake Bay.
Oh, that’s right. The last aircraft carrier they bought from the Russians has been parked and turned into a luxury hotel. Not proper Cold War behavior at all.