Defence

A major boost to India-US defence ties

The growing defence and strategic ties between India and the United States got a major fillip when resident Donald Trump signed the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) that seeks to counter the growing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Jan 2, 2019
 
The growing defence and strategic ties between India and the United States got a major fillip when resident Donald Trump signed the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) that seeks to counter the growing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
 
The Act is meant to enhance cooperation with America’s strategic allies in the region and allocates a budget of USD 1.5 billion over a five-year period. Calling out China for its rising imperialism in the region, the Act cites “China’s illegal construction and militarization of artificial features in the South China Sea and coercive economic practices” and mandates actions for “countering China’s influence to undermine the international system”.
 
Giving primacy to India in its strategic outlook for the region, the Act states that US “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”. It has stressed on the US commitment to all “bilateral and security agreements and arrangements” between the two countries, including the New Framework for the United States-India Defence Relationship and the United States-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative.
 
It also referred to Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between US, Australia, India, and Japan, calling it “vital to address pressing security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region in order to promote a rules-based order; respect for international law; and a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
 
The bill was passed by the US Senate on December 4 and approved by the US Congress on December 12. It was one of the 13 bills signed into law by President Trump on the last day of 2018.
 
Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has hailed the decision in a tweet. She wrote: “Designation of India as a major defense partner...is unique to India.. this elevates defense trade, technology cooperation between the United States and India to a level commensurate with closest allies and partners of the United States.”
 
 

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