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Australia steps up coordination with U.S. in applying pressure on China 

Thursday’s Nikkei wrote from Sydney that Australia has been increasing its pressure on China in coordination with the United States. Prime Minister Morrison announced on Wednesday that his nation will spend 747 million Australian dollars (580 million U.S. dollars) to upgrade four military bases in Australia where U.S. Marines are stationed rotationally and expand the nation’s military drills with the United States. Australian Defense Minister Dutton reportedly said during a radio interview on April 25 that conflict between China and Taiwan “should not be discounted” because China has expressed a clear intention to annex Taiwan. The paper speculated that he referred to Taiwan in response to the joint statement released by President Biden and Prime Minister Suga on April 16 stating that the United States and Japan underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. Noting that the Biden administration is taking a strategy of countering China in cooperation with allies, the paper conjectured that the Australian official referred to Taiwan to demonstrate the nation’s position of cooperating with the United States.  

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