China Leery of U.S.-Australia Military Pact

China says a move by the U.S. to expand its military presence in Australia deserves greater scrutiny and might not be appropriate.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters at a regular press briefing Wednesday that global financial difficulties have driven home the need for greater international cooperation. In light of those difficulties, Liu said it was worth discussing whether the U.S. plan to deploy Marines in northern Australia is in line with the common interests of the international community.

The agreement, announced Wednesday during a visit to Australia by President Barack Obama, underscores concerns in the region over an increasingly assertive China.