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U.S. military base enforcement in Darwin may spark tension in ASEAN


14:41, November 17, 2011

JAKARTA, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- An Indonesian legislator said on Thursday that the placement of the U.S. mariners, carriers and warplanes in Darwin, Australia may spark new tension in territory that houses countries under Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), local media reported.

"The placement of 2,500 U.S. mariners in Darwin would create new tension in ASEAN which has been known as peace zone, not a conflict zone," said TB Hasanuddin, vice chairman of Indonesian parliament's Commission I that oversees security and foreign affairs policy.

Under an agreement signed recently by U.S. president and Australian leader, the United States will place some 2,500 mariner troops, military equipments and warplanes in its military base located in Australia's city of Darwin, located 820 km away from Indonesia.

He said that the placement of the U.S. military in Australian might incite China's suspicion on U.S. involvement in some ASEAN countries, regarding their territory row with China in South China Sea.

"The United States needs to explain the troops placement in Darwin to ASEAN countries so as to abolish suspicions between countries in ASEAN," Hasanuddin was quoted by the largest news portal as saying.

A suspicion regarding the placement of U.S. troops in Darwin was related to disputes between China, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.

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