As China grows its military, America is expanding its military presence in Australia, President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced Wednesday.
Under the new agreement, up to 250 military personnel will be deployed to the region by the middle of 2012 and will grow to a full force of about 2,500 military personnel over the next several years.
Obama says the new agreement will strengthen security throughout the region.
He also said the United States would keep sending a clear message to China that it needs to accept the responsibilities that come with being a world power.
"The main message that I've said not only publicly, but also privately to the Chinese, is that with their rise comes increased responsibilities," the president said.
"It's important for them to play by the rules of the road," he said, adding that United States was not afraid of China's ascent on the world stage.
"So, where China is playing by those rules, recognizing its new role, I think this is a win-win situation," Obama concluded.
China has tripled its defense spending since the 1990s.