In response to concerns over the security of American and her allies in the Pacific, President Donald Trump signed into law the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which passed the U.S. Senate earlier in December of this past year.
Specifically, the ARIA will authorize $1.5 billion in spending for a range of U.S. programs in East and Southeast Asia and “develop a long-term strategic vision and a comprehensive, multifaceted, and principled United States policy for the Indo-Pacific region, and for other purposes.”
The ARIA includes multiple provisions and largely supports the Trump administration’s own National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy documents, both of which have identified the Indo-Pacific as a strategic region of particular priority.
As noted in the story, The act “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 and South Korea.”
This move comes as China has started saber rattling over South China Sea, Taiwanese independence and US trade, which President Trump has taken a hard line on, with administration officials countering that “China has not fundamentally altered its unfair, unreasonable and market-distorting practices.“