Watch out, China, US spy drones headed your way

The Australian government is considering allowing the United States to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles to a coral atoll in the Indian Ocean where they might conduct surveillance missions of that ocean and also the South China Sea, reports The Washington Post.

The tentative plan to base U.S. unmanned aircraft, such as the Global Hawk, on the Australian-owned Cocos Keeling Islands is a key piece of a larger strategy to boost U.S. presence in the region to offset the rise of China’s military power, the story said.

The United States also operates a joint naval and air base on the British island territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, but U.S. officials say there is little room to accommodate additional operations. The Cocos Keeling Islands, situated 1,700 miles to the east, is a better location from which to launch unmanned surveillance flights over the South China Sea, the story said.

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