US to deploy 6 nuclear-capable B-52 bombers in Australia to warn China
Washington and Canberra make closer links to counter Beijing in the Indo-Pacific.
The US is prepared to deploy up to six B-52 bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons in northern Australia, amid rising tensions between China and Taiwan, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
According to ABC's Four Corners, Washington intends to construct the necessary facilities at the Tindal military air base, which is located 320 kilometers (198 miles) southeast of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
During the dry season, the "squadron operations facility," which includes a maintenance center and parking for six B-52s, will be used.
"The ability to deploy US Air Force bombers to Australia sends a strong message to adversaries about our ability to project lethal air power," the US Air Force told Four Corners.
The presence of bombers that might potentially "attack mainland China could be very important in sending a signal to China that any of its actions over Taiwan could also expand further," according to Becca Wasser of the Washington-based Center for a New American Security think tank.
According to the article, the Tindal air base extension could cost up to $100 million, and the parking lot will be completed by the end of 2026.
The situation in Taiwan deteriorated after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in early August.
Beijing blasted Pelosi's visit, viewing it as a show of support for independence, and conducted large-scale military maneuvers near the island. Since then, several countries, including France, Germany, the United States, Japan, and others, have dispatched delegations to the island.
hina considers Taiwan part of its territory and opposes any official communication between foreign powers and Taipei, believing that Chinese authority over the island is unassailable.