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US-China tensions

US ropes Australia into coalition to curb China's rise

Asia-Pacific faces growing pressure to take sides in great decoupling

The flags of the U.S. and Australia are seen outside the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy of the State Department)

WASHINGTON/SYDNEY -- The U.S. has embarked on a campaign to scout like-minded allies in the Asia-Pacific who oppose China's expansionist moves in the region -- starting with Australia.

In a show of the importance of the issue to both sides, Australia's foreign and defense ministers traveled to Washington this week to hold a "two plus two" meeting with their American counterparts. The trip marked a rare instance of multiple foreign cabinet members traveling to the U.S., a current hot spot of the coronavirus outbreak. The two ministers will undergo a two-week self-quarantine period after returning home.

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