Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama and Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a defense agreement that will deploy American Marines on Australian bases next year as the U.S. moves to counter China’s regional influence.
The Marines will be stationed in Darwin and northern Australia under the agreement the two leaders announced today at a press conference in Canberra. The troops will be deployed on a six-month rotation and will include as many as 2,500 personnel, Gillard said.
Obama pledged sustained Asia-Pacific leadership, saying he is “stepping up” his commitment to the region in the face of fiscal tightening at home. At stake for Australia is anchoring an American presence in the western Pacific that can help safeguard sea lanes that host more than $5 trillion of trade.
“This is a region of huge strategic importance to us,” Obama said at a press conference with Gillard. “We are here to stay.”
--Editors: John Brinsley, Peter Hirschberg
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