US or China? Clinton says Australia needn't choose

Hillary Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is assuring Australians that they do not have to choose between the United States, their most important security ally, and China, their primary trading partner.

Clinton on Thursday used the final speech in her Australian tour to reject criticism that Australia's enhanced ties with the United States would come at the cost of its burgeoning relationship with China.

Speaking in the city of Adelaide, she described such suggestions as "a false choice'' and "zero-sum thinking.''

Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Australia this week for an annual security summit with their Australian counterparts, Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Defense Minister Stephen Smith.

The talks were aimed at deepening military links as the United States shifts its might to the Asia-Pacific region.

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