Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that missiles belonging to the United States will not be deployed in Australia.
Morrison, who held talks with US officials over the weekend, said on Monday that Australia will not be hosting US intermediate-range missiles.
His comments came hours after US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo departed Sydney following US-Australia talks.
The talks ended with a joint statement in which the two sides agreed to create a stronger front against Chinese advancement in the Asia-Pacific region.
The US won’t “stand by idly” while China “attempts to reshape the region to its favor,” Esper was quoted by US media as saying..
However, in an interview on Saturday after pulling out of a landmark arms control treaty, the new Pentagon chief told reporters that he aimed to deploy ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming months, raising serious concerns among the advocates of arms control.
China has described Beijing’s bilateral relationship with Australia as "unsatisfactory".
After meeting his Australian counterpart last week, China’s top diplomat insisted that Beijing's strained ties with Canberra needed to be ameliorated.
“During our diplomatic and strategic dialogue in Beijing last November, we agreed to calibrate and relaunch China-Australia relations, but the process of improving our ties has not been satisfactory,” said State Councilor, Wang Yi, after the Bangkok meeting which took place on the sidelines of a regional security forum.
Canberra claims the reason for severed ties was that Beijing had attempted to interfere in its internal affairs. Beijing rejects the claim, insisting it is does not, on principle, meddle in other countries' domestic affairs.
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