U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Todd Young (R-IN), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced the Indo-Pacific Cooperation Act of 2019, legislation that would require the U.S. to partner with allies in the Indo-Pacific region and Europe to develop a unified approach to address the rise of China. Romney previously introduced a similar measure as an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
“As China expands its economic and military power, it is past time for us to construct a comprehensive strategy to confront their growing aggression,” Senator Romney said. “In order to best do that, we must link arms with other nations and develop a unified approach with our allies to address the significant threat China poses to our freedom and freedom around the world.”
“China’s hostile actions in the Indo-Pacific region pose an economic and military threat to the rest of the world,” Senator Hassan said. “I’m glad to be sending a clear, bipartisan message with this bill that China’s moves will not be tolerated and that we stand united with our allies in countering their aggression.”
“Hoosiers support the President’s boldness to stand up to China, but we need other countries to start doing their part to escalate the economic pressure against China as well,” Senator Young said. “This legislation would help protect U.S. interests by enlisting the efforts of our allies. A unified approach with our partners in the region is necessary if we plan to tackle China’s unfair trade practices.”
“The United States’ powerful alliances and partnerships around the world are a unique source of strength,” Senator Cortez Masto said. “This legislation will ensure we’re coordinating more effectively with other nations to take a comprehensive, unified approach to our dealings with China that respects our critical allies and increases appropriate pressure globally to respect international norms and play by the same rules.”
The impact of China’s aggressive moves in the region were felt in recent days as the Solomon Islands broke diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of mainland China. Days later, the island nation of Kiribati followed suit. As the People’s Republic of China asserts power through the Indo-Pacific and beyond, the U.S. must link arms with its allies and partners to serve as a counterweight. Only through expanding cooperation and coordinating strategies will the U.S., its allies, and its partners be able to address the challenges of an assertive China. The Indo-Pacific Cooperation Act of 2019 affirms that it is the policy of the U.S. to partner with allies in the Indo-Pacific region and Europe to develop a unified approach to China policy.