According to a report, the US would send six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Australia amid tensions with China

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A person with knowledge of the situation claimed on Monday that the US is preparing to send up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to an air base in northern Australia amid escalating tensions with China.

The source, who wished to remain anonymous because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter, stated that special facilities for the bombers will be set up at the Royal Australian Air Force’s remote Tindal base, which is located about 300 kilometers (190 miles) south of Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners program first revealed the news, citing US records.

Australia engages with the United States on defense alliances “from time to time,” according to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

During a press conference, Albanese stated, “There are visits, of course, to Australia, notably in Darwin, where US Marines, of course, are stationed there on a rotating basis.

Already, the United States and Australia frequently collaborate militarily in Australia’s Northern Territory. Under President Barack Obama, a rotation of thousands of U.S. Marines through the area each year for joint training exercises was established.

The office of Richard Marles, Australia’s defense minister, declined to comment.

Zhao Lijian, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, responded when asked for comment during a regular briefing on Monday that international defense and security cooperation should not target third parties.

When asked for a comment at a regular briefing on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said defence and security cooperation between countries should not target third parties.

“The relevant practices of the US side have increased tensions in the region, seriously undermined regional peace and stability, and may trigger an arms race in the region,” Zhao said.

“China urges the parties concerned to abandon the old Cold War zero-sum mentality and narrow geopolitical concepts, and do more to contribute to regional peace and stability and to enhance mutual trust.”

The United States has drawn up detailed plans for what it calls a “squadron operations facility” for use during the Northern Territory dry season, an adjoining maintenance centre and a parking area for the B-52s, the ABC report said.

The ability to deploy the long-range bombers to Australia sends a strong message to adversaries about Washington’s ability to project air power, the US Air Force was quoted as saying in the report.

Last year, the United States, Britain and Australia created a security deal that will provide Australia with the technology to deploy nuclear-powered submarines, riling China.

Putting B-52s, which have a combat range of about 14,000 km, in Australia will be a warning to Beijing, as fears grow about an assault on Taiwan, Becca Wasser, senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Centre for a New American Security, told the ABC.

This year, the US deployed four B-52s to its Andersen Air Force base in Guam, a US island territory in the Western Pacific.

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