30 May 2006

US military move to Guam not due to China - report

1:15 pm on 30 May 2006

The U.S. military says its movement of forces in the Pacific is not due to concerns about China's increasing military buildup in the region.

According to the Saipan Tribune, a Pentagon report says the Chinese military is investing in cruise missiles, precision weapons and guidance systems that could target ships, submarines, aircraft and air bases as far away as the Northern Marianas and Guam.

The US military has requested its 8,000 marines conduct exercises on Tinian, when they transfer from Okinawa in Japan to Guam.

The commander of the Naval Forces Marianas Rear Admiral Charles Leidig Junior said the relocation of U.S. military forces is due to contingency plans in the fight against global terrorism.

Admiral Leidig says the U.S. Pacific Command Deputy Commander is planning a visit to Saipan in the next few months to meet the CNMI Governor Benigno Fitial.