The news that Australia and the US are engaged in talks about stationing B1 and B52 bombers in northern Australia has angered the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

Annette Brownlie, spokesperson for IPAN said: “IPAN has consistently promoted an independent and peaceful Australia. But what we are seeing is a succession of events through which Australia is losing its independence and becoming more closely entwined within the US military machine.

“Allowing the US to station long range bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons on our territory reinforces the Deputy Sherriff status to our neighbouring countries.”

Australia has also been encouraged by the US to join them in ‘freedom of navigation’ operations in the South China Sea, when there is no indication of any impediment to shipping movements in the area.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims. In the past these countries have worked together through the UN to solve their territorial disputes.

Last week, the US sent aircraft carrier John C. Stennis and four other American warships into the South China Sea for what were described as routine exercises.

“Australians should be alert and alarmed at these developments which carry an increasing risk of war with China,” says Ms Brownlie.

“Australians want to live in a peaceful, independent and secure nation. But these recent events show that we are headed in the opposite direction. The Turnbull government needs to stand up for Australian peace and independence and reject the proposal to station US B1 and B52 bombers here, and say no to provocative acts in the South China Sea”