Beijing: China has warned Australia that it may be "caught in the crossfire" if the US uses new Australia-based military forces to threaten its interests, a day after Canberra and Washington renewed a defence pact.
US President Barack Obama, who is currently on his first official visit to Australia, on Wednesday met Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and unveiled plans to station

2,500 US marines in the Northern Territory within five years.
He confirmed Australia's strategic importance in an Asia-Pacific century dominated by the growing power of China and India.
China's state-run People's Daily in an editorial said that the new Australia-US defence pact posed a security threat to Australia.
"Australia surely cannot play China for a fool. It is impossible for China to remain detached, no matter what Australia does to undermine its security," it said.
"If Australia uses its military bases to help the US harm Chinese interests, then Australia itself will be caught in the crossfire. There is real worry in the Chinese society concerning Australia's acceptance of an increased US military presence. Such psychology will influence the long-term development of the Australia-China relationship," the editorial said.
"Gillard may be ignoring something - their economic co-operation with China does not pose any threat to the US, whereas the Australia-US military alliance serves to counter China," it further said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry also dubbed the alliance as inappropriate and counter to the peaceful development of the region.
"It may not be quite appropriate to intensify and expand military alliances and may not be in the interest of countries within this region," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin was quoted as saying.
"China believes that peaceful development and co-operation is a trend of the times and is the mainstream of the foreign policy of countries within this region, especially against the backdrop of sluggish economic growth."