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200 U.S. Marines arrive in Australia

(Xinhua)

12:55, April 04, 2012

CANBERRA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith announced Wednesday about 200 U.S. Marines have arrived in Darwin in northern Australia as part of the defence deal between Australia and the U.S.

According to the defence minister, U.S. and Australia will hold joint training and exercises in Northern Territory of Australia and up to 2,500 U.S. troops will eventually arrive in Australia.

Smith told a press conference that this is "a historic day for the U.S.-Australia alliance forged over 60 years ago". "The international community has to adjust to accommodate the focus to Asia-Pacific," he said.

He said Australia has good economic relationship with China. The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and China is the most important one this century. He said there also have been discussions about involving Indonesia and China in future military exercises.

Smith said the U.S. move was aimed at dealing with the challenge of the rise of China, India and Indonesia, adding that Australia looks for more cooperation in the region.

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