China is likely to react with anger over US decision to post warships in Singapore. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced last year that a deal to deploy ships to Singapore was in the works. US Officials this week reiterated the possibility of the deployment of forces at the Changi Naval Base. The US has often used Singapore’s bases; nearly 150 US warships visited the port last year. The city-state has a strategically vital position due to its access to the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
The Chinese President at a meeting of the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations issued an indirect warning to Washington; “External forces should not use any excuse to interfere,” he said. China was angered earlier this week, when President Obama announced that the US would be sending in Marine troops into Northern Australia. The presence of US fleets in the region is likely to increase tension between Beijing and Washington.