US enhancing bases in Guam, Australia: Report

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Beijing: China on Tuesday took exception to a Pentagon report to enhance US bases in Guam and Australia to meet the growing challenges posed by Beijing, saying it fully exposes Washington’s efforts to militarise the Indo-Pacific to “encircle and contain” it.

A senior US defence official on Monday said that the Pentagon will focus on building up bases in Guam and Australia to better prepare the US military to counter China.

The moves have been prompted by the Department of Defence’s global posture review, which the US President Joe Biden ordered Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin to undertake shortly after taking office in February.

Biden “recently approved” Austin’s findings and recommendations from the global posture review, Dr Mara Karlin, performing the duties of deputy under-secretary for policy, said at a briefing on Monday.

To counter China, the review directs the US Defence Department to enhance “infrastructure in Guam and Australia,” and to prioritise military construction across the Pacific Islands.

China takes exception

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: “The report by the Pentagon fully exposes its real intentions to militarise the so-called Indo-Pacific region and to encircle and contain China with all efforts possible.”

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