Asia Reassurance Initiative Act

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US president has signed the ‘Asia Reassurance Initiative Act’. The law aims at countering the encroaching influence and growing threat from China, and to reinvigorate U.S. leadership in Asia.

Features of the Act

The important features of the act are:

  • The act aims to establish a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The act authorises the spending of $1.5 billion over a five-year period to enhance cooperation with America’s strategic regional allies in the region.
  • Citing China’s illegal construction and militarization of artificial features in the South China Sea and coercive economic practices, the new law calls for countering China’s influence to undermine the international system.
  • The act notes that increased presence throughout Southeast Asia of the Islamic State and other international terrorist organizations threaten the United States.
  • The act recognizes the vital role of the strategic partnership between the United States and India in promoting peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and calls for strengthening and broadening of diplomatic, economic, and security ties between the United States and India.
  • The act calls on the U.S. Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Treasury, to justify the termination of U.S. support for any United Nations Security Council resolutions sanctioning North Korea or the lifting of any unilateral U.S. sanctions on North Korea.
  • The act reasserts US support to Taiwan and calls on President Trump to encourage the travel of high-level United States officials to Taiwan, in accordance with the Taiwan Travel Ac

Significance for India

The act reiterates US commitment to all bilateral and security agreements and arrangements between the two countries, including the New Framework for the United States-India Defense Relationship, and the United States-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative.

Noting that designation of India as a major defence partner, which is unique to India the law states that the designation elevates defence trade and technology cooperation between the United States and India to a level commensurate with the closest allies and partners of the United States.