US President Joe Biden on Monday signed into law a defense bill that allocates more funds for an initiative aimed at boosting deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2022 authorizes 768.2 billion dollars in defense spending.
The bill includes 7.1 billion dollars for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, more than triple the amount earmarked for fiscal 2021 -- a sign that the US is seeking to counter China's military buildup.
The Act also includes a statement encouraging the Biden administration to invite Taiwan to the Rim of the Pacific exercise known as RIMPAC, a US-hosted multilateral military drill. US Congress members want to help Taiwan maintain self-defense capabilities.
Extending such an invitation to Taiwan will likely spark fierce opposition from China, which is wary of warming military ties between the US and Taiwan. Taiwan has never before participated in the exercise.
The bill also includes 300 million dollars to support Ukraine's armed forces amid escalating tensions with Russia, and four billion dollars for an initiative aimed at bolstering deterrence in Europe.
VOL. 16, No. 15, March.24, 2023 (Chaitra 10. 2079) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75
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