Clinton arrives in Australia for defence meetings

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has arrived in Australia's western city of Perth before a summit about deepening defence links between Australia and the United States.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is scheduled to arrive later Tuesday (local time) before they meet Wednesday with Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Foreign Minister Bob Carr.

The American leaders will also meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The annual summit is the first since President Barack Obama visited Australia a year ago and riled China, Australia's biggest trade partner, by announcing that up to 2,500 US Marines would rotate through a joint military training hub in the northern Australian city of Darwin.

- AP

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