Obama says US will boost Australia military ties

The US is to strenthen military ties with Australia, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard say.

The first deployment of about 250 US marines will arrive next year.

Mr Obama said he would give details for a "deepening of the alliance" in a speech before parliament on Thursday.

The US was "stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific," he said. The US sees Australia as a counter to China's growing influence, which Mr Obama urged to act "responsibly".

"We welcome a rising, peaceful China," Mr Obama said at a joint news conference with Mrs Gillard.

"The main message that I've said, not only publicly but also privately to China, is that with their rise comes increased responsibility.

"It is important for them to play by the rules of the road."

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