On the last day of 2018, US President Donald Trump signed Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) act, calling out the growing Chinses influence in the Indo-Pacific region, to strengthen diplomatic, economic, and security ties with India and its other regional allies in the Indian Ocean. As per the Act US will spend $1.5 billion over a five-year period to reinvigorate US leadership in the region.
The Act mandates action to counter China’s influence to undermine the international system and reiterates US commitment against illegal construction and militarization of artificial features in the South China Sea and coercive economic practices.
Highlighting the designation of India as a major defence partner, which is unique to India, the Act notes the importance of strategic partnership between the United States and India in promoting peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between, US, Australia and Japan has been described as “vital” to address the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region in order to promote a rules-based order.
Notably, the first Quadrilateral talks between the 4 countries was held in July amid the growing belligerence attitude of Chia in the South China Sea.