Obama warns China in announcing new Marine deployment to Australia

President Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced Wednesday that U.S. Marines would be deployed to Australia next year.

The new deployment, announced at a joint press conference during the president’s trip to Australia, will bring an initial 250 Marines to Australia on a six-month rotation. The countries ultimately plan in the coming years to have up to 2,500 Marines stationed there. The Marines will conduct exercises and train with the Australian Defense Force in Darwin and northern Australia.

The move is part of an increased focus by the U.S. on the Asia-Pacific region, and China in particular. Obama said at the press conference that it is important for the Chinese to “play by the rules of the road.”

“There are going to be times where they’re not, and we will send a clear message to them that we think that they need to be on track in terms of accepting the rules and responsibilities that come with being a world power,” Obama said.

The announcement included more cooperation between the U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force that will lead to increased rotations of U.S. aircraft through northern Australia.