23 Nov 2011

US move to Darwin has no impact on China's South Pacific policy, says analyst

5:54 pm on 23 November 2011

An expert on China's foreign relations in the Asia Pacific, Dr Jian Yang, says US stationing of troops in Australia will have little impact on China's policies towards the South Pacific.

The United States has announced 250 troops will be stationed in Darwin from next year rising ten fold by 2017, prompting a cool reaction from Beijing.

Dr Yang says China will continue to strengthen its economic and political ties in the South Pacific and he doubts proposed Sino-US co-operation on aid delivery will be affected.

"China's interest in the South Pacific is mainly economic and political. In terms of military or strategic interests, at this stage it is not a priority to Beijing."

Political scientist, Dr Jian Yang