Tensions between the United States and China ratcheted up a notch in 2021 as a result of the then-signed AUKUS agreement, which paved the way for the Australian government to be provided with technology capable of deploying nuclear-powered submarines. This agreement was the catalyst for the escalation of tensions between the two countries.
It is now being claimed that the United States military is considering sending additional B-52 bombers to Australia in order to establish a long-term hub in the region. This is being done in response to the continued tensions that exist between the Biden administration and China.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said that about six bombers would be stationed at the isolated Tindal air base located in Australia’s Northern Territory. The ABC cited individuals who were familiar with the developments and divulged this information.
According to the documents, a “squadron operations facility” would consist of a parking area for the bombers as well as a maintenance centre that was adjacent to it. During the dry season in the region, it is anticipated that the services will be utilised.
The region already plays host to a variety of joint military exercises with U.S. forces on a semi-annual basis, a relationship that was initiated during the Obama administration and continues to this day. The drills involve both U.S. and local personnel.
Despite the fact that tensions between the United States and China have been high for a considerable amount of time, relations between the two countries came dangerously close to boiling early in August when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) decided to travel to Taiwan.
At the time, rumours persisted to a great degree that China intended to “invade” Taiwan, which is a self-governing island republic that Beijing views as a wayward province and an issue of its own internal policy. Beijing views Taiwan as a matter of its own domestic policy. The Chinese Communist Party is opposed to any official contact between Taiwan and other countries since the stated policy of Beijing is to work toward the peaceful unification of Taiwan with the rest of mainland China.
Beijing has stated on multiple occasions that the One-China principle is a political foundation of China-US relations and that violations by Washington of its own obligations have been jeopardising cooperation between the two countries while simultaneously posing a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
As soon as Pelosi landed in Taipei, the Chinese foreign ministry made it clear that the acts of Pelosi had a significant negative influence on the already tense relations that existed between the United States and China.
Concerns about how China may regard a B-52 deployment to Australia are growing once more despite the fact that it has been nearly three months since the tour to Taiwan.
The presence of B-52s in the Northern Territory was far more significant than the routine deployments of US Marines there, and it sent a clearer signal to the Chinese that Australia was cooperating with the United States in its preparations for a war with China.
The United States is currently in the process of constructing a jet fuel storage facility at the cost of approximately $270 million on the outskirts of Darwin, which is approximately 200 miles away from the Tindal base.
Australia is ready to provide airbases to the U.S.
In 2021, Frontier India reported that Australia is prepared to provide air bases to the United States for basing strategic bombers. Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian Federation’s Permanent Representative to international organisations located in Vienna, had raised worry regarding recent allegations that Australia is preparing to surrender its airdromes to the United States in order to fulfil its obligations under the AUKUS accord.
If one is to believe open sources, Australia is in the process of rebuilding its Air Force bases in Richmond and Amberley so that they can accommodate American strategic bombers. In addition, the United States Air Force is planning to construct a number of other airfields in southern Australia at unspecified locations.
The U.S. had permission to use an airfield that was located in Australia in the past. At the beginning of the year 1961, the United States government stationed a Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft at the airfield in Sale, which is located in Victoria. Oddly enough, these U-2s were not spying on the Soviet Union or the People’s Republic of China but rather on the US-NATO ally France, which at the time was carrying out nuclear tests on the island of Mururoa. It became necessary for the French to move a squadron of high-altitude fighter interceptors to that location.