SYDNEY, July 22 (Reuters) - The United States commissioned a warship in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday, the first time a U.S. Navy vessel joined active service at a foreign port, as the two close allies step up their military ties in response to China's expanding regional reach.
"Australians can be proud that this ship, designed in Western Australia by local industry and named after HMAS Canberra, is being commissioned here for the first time in the history of the United States Navy," Australian Defence Minister Marles said in a statement.
The commissioning of the U.S. ship in Australian waters reflected "our shared commitment to upholding the rules-based order", he added.
Under the AUKUS project announced in March, the United States and Britain have agreed to help Australia acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.
Before that, in the early 2030s, the United States is supposed to sell Australia three U.S. Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines, with an option for Australia to buy two more.
Marles, Sam McKeith, Stephen Coates
SYDNEY, United, U.S . Navy, Royal Australian Navy, U.S, Marine, Sydney Harbour, United States Navy, Australian Defence, Talisman Sabre, Australia, ., Thomson
United States, Sydney, Australia, U.S, Western Australia, China, Canada, Fiji, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Tonga, Britain, . Virginia