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What Is The Asia Reassurance Initiative Act

What Is The Asia Reassurance Initiative Act


  • GS 2 || International Relations || International Politics || USA in World Affairs

Why in news?

  • On the final day of 2018, U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA).
  • The act “establishes a multifaceted U.S. strategy to increase U.S. security, economic interests, and values in the Indo-Pacific region,” according to the White House.

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.
  • One day after the passage of the act, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s longstanding position on Taiwan, a particular focus of the ARIA.
  • ARIA draws attention to U.S. relations with China, India, the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Northeast Asian allies Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Chinese reaction

  • The act seriously violated the one-China policy and the principle of the three joint communiques, and it interfered in China’s internal affairs.
  • China expresses strong opposition to the U.S. and has made solemn representations to the country,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang.

Support to Taiwan

  • 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 Act.

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.

Other highlights

  • While the act frames a comprehensive strategy for the US in the Asia, it singles out India as an important military partner with a key role in maintaining peace and stability in the region.
  • The act also highlights threats from China, citing the country’s “illegal construction and militarization of artificial features in the South China Sea” as well as its “coercive economic practices.”