Washington has now reached a deal with Canberra to deploy a permanent force of 2,500 US Marines to Australia. The message is clear.
"...Obama said the US was "stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific", not excluding China.
"The main message that I've said, not only publicly but also privately to China, is that with their rise comes increased responsibility," he said.
"It is important for them to play by the rules of the road."
China has issued its own ominous warning to Australia about the price it may have to pay.
"The Global Times, a newspaper produced by the Communist Party-controlled People's Daily group, has been much more bellicose, says the BBC's Damian Grammaticas in Beijing.
"An editorial warned it was "certain" that if "Australia uses its military bases to help the US harm Chinese interests, then Australia itself will be caught in the crossfire".
India, meanwhile, has been bumping shoulders with China in the South China Sea where India has joined with Vietnam to collaborate on a resource venture in territory that China claims as its own. India's new "blue water" navy has already stated its goal of establishing sea control from the Bay of Bengal to the Kuril Islands which, quite coincidentally, blankets China's entire coastline.
The Chinese media has released new criticisms of India's military buildup. The People's Daily says India's policy is three dimensional.
"One, India needs to exaggerate the ‘threat perception’ in order to justify its defence budget and arms purchases at a time when the economy is slowing. Two, India is adopting a ‘containment’ policy toward China. Three, India hopes to gain US’s military and political support. "
And, as if tensions with India weren't enough, now China is said to be facing a showdown with a joint US-Philippine resource venture in the South China Sea.
"Tensions over the oil-rich and strategically important South China Sea have escalated as Chinese state media accused the US and the Philippines of planning a ''grab'' for its resources.