4 Apr 2012

200 US marines arrive in Australia

6:35 pm on 4 April 2012

A contingent of 200 United States marines has arrived in northern Australia.

The force - the first in an eventual 2,500 strong rotating deployment - is part of US plans to strengthen its capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Australia's defence minister Stephen Smith says the marines will bolster the response to the strategic and political rise of China and India.

Leaders from the US and Australia stress it is not an attempt to contain China.