China slams reported plan for US B-52 bombers in Australia

Oct 31, 2022, 4:09 AM | Updated: 4:57 am
FILE - A U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber flies over Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Jan 10, 20...

FILE - A U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber flies over Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, Jan 10, 2016. The United States is preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers in northern Australia, a news report said Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, prompting China to accuse the U.S. of undermining regional peace and stability. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The United States is preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers in northern Australia, a news report said Monday, prompting China to accuse the U.S. of undermining regional peace and stability.

The United States is preparing to build dedicated facilities for the long-range bombers at Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal in the Northern Territory, national broadcaster Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Tindal is south of the coastal city of Darwin, where thousands of U.S. Marines Corps troops have spent about half of each year since 2012 under a deal struck between then-U.S. President Barack Obama and then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese did not directly respond when asked at a news conference on Monday if the United States is preparing to deploy bombers in Australia.

“We engage with our friends in the United States alliance from time to time,” Albanese said.

“There are visits to Australia, including in Darwin, that has U.S. Marines on a rotating basis stationed there,” he said.

The U.S. Air Force told ABC the ability to deploy U.S. bombers to Australia “sends a strong message to adversaries about our ability to project lethal air power.”

Asked about U.S. nuclear bombers being positioned in Australia, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said defense and security cooperation between countries should “not target any third parties or harm the interests of third parties.”

“The relevant U.S. behaviors have increased regional tensions, seriously undermined regional peace and stability, and may trigger an arms race in the region,” Zhao told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing.

“China urges the parties concerned to abandon the outdated Cold War and zero-sum mentality and narrowminded geopolitical thinking, and to do something conducive to regional peace and stability and enhancing mutual trust between the countries,” Zhao added.

Australian opposition leader Peter Dutton, who was defense minister when his conservative government was voted out office in May, welcomed the prospect of B-52 bombers having a regular presence in Australia.

“It would be fantastic to have them cycling through more regularly,” Dutton said, referring to the bombers. “It bolsters our security position in an uncertain time.”

While in office, Dutton said he had discussed with U.S. authorities rotating all aspects of the U.S. Air Force through sparsely populated northern Australia.

“To defend that (northern Australia) and to deter anybody from taking action against us is absolutely essential,” Dutton said.

“We have a vulnerability and it’s important for us to have a very strong relationship with the United States … and all of our allies,” Dutton added.

ABC said U.S. tender documents showed that the U.S. Defense Department is planning to build an aircraft parking apron at Tindal to accommodate six B-52s.

There were detailed designs for the construction of a U.S Force “squadron operations facility” at Tindal as well as a maintenance center, jet fuel storage tanks and an ammunition bunker, the ABC reported.

“The RAAF’s ability to host USAF bombers, as well as train alongside them, demonstrates how integrated our two air forces are,” the U.S. Defense Department told the ABC.

The ABC did not provide a timeframe for the Tindal upgrade.

___

AP video producer Liu Zheng in Beijing contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Cong...
Associated Press

Biden makes progress on ‘unity agenda’ outlined in 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year ago, President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address to push top Democratic priorities that were sure to face a battle in the narrowly divided Congress but he also laid out a four-pronged “unity agenda” that would be an easier sell. Biden’s unity goals would be hard […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

New California oil well ban put on hold for voters to decide

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s new law banning new oil and gas wells near homes, schools and other community sites has been put on hold until after voters decide next year whether to throw it out, officials announced Friday. Opponents of Senate Bill 1137 gathered more than 623,000 valid voter signatures to put a referendum […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an ina...
Associated Press

Florida lawmakers to meet next week on Disney, immigration

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers will meet next week to complete a state takeover of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district and debate proposals on immigration and election crimes, as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to leverage national political fissures ahead of an expected White House run. Republican leaders of the Legislature, in coordination with […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Johnny Thai, 11, receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a pediatric vaccine clinic for chil...
Associated Press

California won’t require COVID vaccine to attend schools

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Children in California won’t have to get the coronavirus vaccine to attend schools, state public health officials confirmed Friday, ending one of the last major restrictions of the pandemic in the nation’s most populous state. Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the policy in 2021, saying it would eventually apply to all […]
23 hours ago
Part of the 988helpline.org website is photographed Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. A cyberattack caused a ne...
Associated Press

Feds say cyberattack caused suicide helpline’s outage

WASHINGTON (AP) — A cyberattack caused a nearly daylong outage of the nation’s new 988 mental health helpline late last year, federal officials told The Associated Press Friday. Lawmakers are now calling for the federal agency that oversees the program to prevent future attacks. “On December 1, the voice calling functionality of the 988 Lifeline […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Workers at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn., walk by a Nissan Altima sedan on May 15, 2012....
Associated Press

US board clears path for mini-union vote at big Nissan plant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Fewer than 100 employees out of the thousands who work at Nissan’s auto assembly plant in Tennessee can hold a vote on whether to form a small union, the federal labor board has decided. The ruling Thursday by the National Labor Relations Board overturns a June 2021 decision by one of […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
China slams reported plan for US B-52 bombers in Australia