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Australia bolsters defenses against a growingly assertive China

Canberra cracks down on foreign deals and inks US arms project amid rising tensions

Australian military personnel stand guard during the Remembrance Day Service in Sydney.   © Reuters

SYDNEY -- Feeling the heat from an ever more assertive China, Australia is ramping up its defenses -- from cracking down on foreign deals to joint arms development with Washington -- against Chinese influence in the Asia-Pacific region and within its own borders.

Ties between Canberra and Beijing have steadily deteriorated in recent months as the countries clash over a range of issues, including the coronavirus pandemic and trade. Recent moves in Australia could further stoke bilateral tensions.

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