The Australian reports that Australia and the US have established a top-secret defence co-operation framework to counter Chinese military aggression, and put Darwin at the centre of future military plans with a new strategic fuel reserve for the city. The classified defence framework, agreed at high-level talks in Washington, creates a new bilateral team to co-ordinate decisions on joint operations and the deployment of hardware and personnel across the Indo-Pacific. USSC research fellow in the foreign policy and defence team Brendan Thomas-Noone is quoted in the article.