Record number of US Marines to train in Australia

SYDNEY: The United States will deploy a record number of Marines to train in Australia, the Australian defence minister said on Friday, as Washington seeks to counter what it describes as Chinese aggression in the region.
Payne said 1,587 US Marines will spend six months training in Australia’s remote north, an increase of nearly 27 per cent on its 2017 rotation for the programme known as the Force Posture Initiatives.
“The US military plays a vital role in underwriting security and stability across the Indo-Pacific, and the Force Posture Initiatives will be an essential component in preserving stability and security over the coming decades,” Defence Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.
The deployment, first introduced in 2011 as part of a US “pivot” to Asia, has emerged as a key indicator of Washington’s commitment to the region under US President Donald Trump and his willingness to counter Chinese influence in a region where tensions have spiked amid disputes over the South China Sea. — Reuters