U.S. plans to build new naval base in Australia
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA — The United States could be putting up a new military port in Australia.
According to Reuters, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Tuesday that the U.S. Navy plans to build military infrastructure in the country, once Congress approves $211.5 million in funding.
While Payne did not specify the type of infrastructure, Australian media reported that Washington's plans are for a new port.
Multiple officials told the ABC the facility would be in Darwin's Glyde Point, and could eventually accommodate large amphibious warships like Australia's Landing Helicopter Docks, and vessels such as the USS Wasp.
Each year, 2,500 U.S. marines are deployed to Australia in an annual rotation for training, and are housed at an Australian army base in Darwin.
With the new facility, American marines could operate more readily in the region, according to ABC.
Reuters reports that the plan comes amid increasing concerns with China's expansion in the Pacific.
The existing Port of Darwin is currently leased to Chinese company Landbridge for 99 years, and is located just 40 kilometers from the future U.S. port in Glyde Point.