Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese did not directly respond when asked on Monday if the United States was preparing to deploy bombers in Australia.
A news report on Monday said the U.S. was preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers in northern Australia, prompting China to accuse the U.S. of undermining regional peace and stability.
The U.S. was preparing to build dedicated facilities for the long-range bombers at Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal in the Northern Territory, national broadcaster Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
Tindal is south of the coastal city of Darwin, where thousands of U.S. Marines Corps troops have spent about half of each year since 2012 under a deal struck between then-U.S. President Barack Obama and then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
"(We) fully engage with our friends in the United States alliance from time to time," Albanese said on Monday.
"There are visits to Australia, including in Darwin, that has U.S. Marines, of course, on a rotating basis stationed there," he added.
The U.S. Air Force told ABC the ability to deploy U.S. bombers to Australia "sends a strong message to adversaries about our ability to project lethal air power".
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