2020 US Presidential Candidates on the Indo-Pacific

The 2020 Presidential Candidates on the Indo-Pacific resource highlights mentions of Indo-Pacific issues by US presidential candidates and nominees in speeches, campaign documents, and debates.

To view statements by President Trump prior to his June 18, 2019 declaration to seek a second term, as well as members of his Cabinet, visit The Trump Administration & US - Indo-Pacific Relations.

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2020 Candidates on the Indo-Pacific

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Joe Biden's Op-Ed with Senator Tammy Duckworth on Discrimination against Asian Americans

"A boy landed in the hospital after being beaten up by his classmates on school grounds. A little girl was pushed off her bike in the middle of a park. A nurse was assaulted on the subway, and another was spit on while delivering medicine to a sick patient. A father was hit over the head by a man swearing at him on the street.

In the past several months, countless Asian Americans have been punched and kicked and threatened…

Joe Biden's Remarks on Hong Kong

Joe Biden Remarks at AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] Victory Fund Progressive Summit

March 15, 2020 Democratic Debate: China and Authoritarianism

March 15, 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate - China and the Coronavirus

Pete Buttigieg's Agenda for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

The story of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the United States is far from a single narrative, as it consists of many unique experiences and remarkable contributions. Trailblazers like Wong Kim Ark and Patsy Takemoto Mink advanced fundamental rights, from birthright citizenship to Title IX of the Higher Education Act, which requires equal treatment of women. Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees made courageous journeys to rebuild their lives and start new businesses and communities in America. The 442nd Regiment, composed almost entirely of Japanese…

February 25 Democratic Presidential Debate - China and North Korea

Bernie Sanders' Remarks on 60 Minutes - China, Taiwan, and North Korea

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Decision 2020 Twitter Town Hall

William Weld's Interview with Keene SentinelSource - Indo-Pacific Issues

Pete Buttigieg in Merrimack, New Hampshire - China

William Weld's Keynote Speech on American Foreign Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs - China and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Joe Biden's Remarks on US Alliance with Japan

Joe Biden's Interview with The New York Times Editorial Board - China

*This interview was originally conducted on December 16, 2019.

"Jim Dao: You campaigned on your ability to handle a crisis. If China were to send troops and tanks into Hong Kong to violently crack down on peaceful protesters, how would you handle that?

Well, that’s a very, I’m not sure I should answer it on ——

JD: Why not?

Let me put it this way. First of all, the first thing I’d do is go to the United Nations. I would introduce resolutions to condemn…

Pete Buttigieg's Interview with The New York Times Editorial Board - China

*This interview was recorded earlier but the transcript does not give a specific date.

"KK: Assume that for a moment that the Chinese government makes a decision that they’re going to flood the streets with troops in order to crack down on the protests that are happening in Hong Kong. What would you do? How would you respond as president?

Well, the message would need to go to China, that if they’re going to perpetrate a repeat of Tiananmen, that that will lead to them…

Amy Klobuchar's Interview with The New York Times Editorial Board - China

*This interview originally took place on December 10, 2019*

"Serge Schmemann: Senator, can I ask you about China? [...]

SS: About China. The Chinese have been repressing fairly ruthlessly.

With the Uighurs.

SS: The Uighurs and other Muslim minorities. Can or should the United States take action on their behalf?

I think the United States should be standing up much taller on this front, both with Hong Kong, and you see Congress acted on that front with authorizing some sanctions and passing a law which the…

Andrew Yang's Interview with The New York Times Editorial Board - China

*This interview oringally took place on December 4, 2019, before Andrew Yang failed to qualify for the January 14, 2020 debate.

James Dao: Can I pose a future hypothetical? If the Chinese government were to flood Hong Kong with military troops after you were president and impose a violent crackdown, similar to, say, Tiananmen Square in 1989, what would you do?

I have family in Hong Kong. I spent a semester there in college, and so when I see those streets wracked with riots and…

January 14, 2020 Democratic Debate - North Korea and China

Elizabeth Warren's Interview with The New York Times Editorial Board - China and Trans-Pacific Partnership

*This interview originally took place on December 4, 2019*

"James Dao: Moving from Europe to Asia, if China were to send troops, massive numbers of troops into Hong Kong, and impose a violent crackdown there similar to Tiananmen Square in 1989, what would you do as president? [...]You know, this is a hard hypothetical to take on until you actually know what’s happening. Again, you’ve got to back this one up on where we should have started. When the unrest first started unfolding in Hong Kong…

Bernie Sanders's Interview with The New York Times Editorial Board - China

*This interview originally took place on December 2, 2019*

"AK: The president shares a lot of your concerns about our economic relationship with China and the other ——

No, the president does not, not quite. I mean, I know his rhetoric. I look at the world very differently than Mr. Trump does, but go ahead.

AK: [LAUGHS] I’m wondering if you could explain how your approach to dealing with China would be different from the president and how it would elicit better outcomes.

China is one…

Pete Buttigieg's Interview with the SentinelSource - China

Amy Klobuchar's Interview with Iowa PBS - China

Bernie Sanders Interview with SentinelSource - North Korea and China

Pete Buttigieg's Meeting with Des Moines Register Editorial Board - China

Candidates' Remarks During December 19, 2019 Democratic Debate - China

Amy Klobuchar's Remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations - China

Andrew Yang at Iowa Climate Crisis Student Forum - China

Elizabeth Warren's Remarks on China's Influence Over the Drug Supply Chain

"United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), along with Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper raising concerns about the national security risks posed by U.S. reliance on foreign-manufactured pharmaceutical products. The senators' letter follows the publication of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission's 2019 Annual Report that highlights the nation's "growing reliance" on products critical to the manufacturing of drugs, which are primarily made in China.

In recent years, China has…

Joe Biden's Remarks on China

Joe Biden's Remarks on Hmong New Year

William Weld's Remarks on the TPP [Trans Pacific Partnership]

Andrew Yang's Remarks on Hong Kong

President Trump's Remarks on Trade Negotiations with China and Hong Kong

Joe Biden's Policy Towards North Korea

November 20, 2019 Democratic Presidential Debate - China, North Korea

Remarks by President Trump After Tour of Apple Manufacturing Plant - China

"Q Should Apple be exempt from China tariffs?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re looking at that. And, you know, the problem we have is you have Samsung — it’s a great company, but it’s a competitor of Apple, and it’s not fair if — because we have a trade deal with Korea. We made a great trade deal with South Korea, but we have to treat Apple on a somewhat similar basis as we treat Samsung.

Now, with all of that being said, we’re doing very…

Remarks by President Trump in a Cabinet Meeting - China and South Korea

"And they announced another number this morning. That was a number that was very warm to my heart. Since the election, we’ve created $11 trillion in worth. Now, China has gone down by double that number, and we’ve gone up by $11 trillion. So when — whoever it was that was going to be President, they said, “Within two years, China would overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy.” We’re so far ahead of them right now, it’s not even close. And if…

Joe Biden's Remarks During a Town Hall in Elko, Nevada - China and the Koreas

Remarks by President Trump at the Economic Club of New York - China, Japan, and South Korea

"And I will tell you, when I signed — that was another one — Clean Waters of the United States — well, the Paris Accord, too — and I said, “This is going to take guts.” I just closed my eyes and I signed it. (Laughter.) I got one day of a big hit from some of the radical-left newspapers. And then after that, everybody thanks me. They thank me so profusely. You’re talking about trillions and trillions of dollars of destruction would have been…

Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure - China and India

"Q On China, can you tell me whether a tariff rollback will be part of the phase-one China deal?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, they’d like to have a rollback. I haven’t agreed to anything. China would like to get somewhat of a rollback — not a complete rollback, because they know I won’t do it.

But we’re getting along very well with China. They want to make a deal. Frankly, they want to make a deal a lot more than I do. I’m very happy right…

Presidential Message on Diwali, 2019

"As Diwali commences, Melania and I wish those observing the Festival of Lights a blessed and happy celebration.

For many Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists in the United States and around the globe, this sacred period is an opportunity to commemorate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. Throughout this holy time, members of these faiths engage in prayer, light diyas and lanterns, and partake in traditional feasts and other festivities with friends and family.

The observance of Diwali…

Beto O’Rourke's Interview with The Washington Post - China

"MR. COSTA: If you were President, would you support the protesters in Hong Kong or not?

MR. O'ROURKE: Yes. It really says something right now when the most inspiring representatives of democracy, at a time that the open question in the world is the future a democratic or an autocratic one, are not here in the United States but in Hong Kong.

And you have the leader of the free world, ostensibly, in the President of the United States not embracing those protesters or our…

Statement from President Trump Regarding the Enthronement Ceremony of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan

"On behalf of the American people, Melania and I offer our warmest congratulations to the people of Japan on the occasion of the enthronement of the new Emperor and Empress. The advent of the imperial era known as “Reiwa,” meaning “beautiful harmony,” comes at a time in which the bonds of friendship between the American and Japanese people have never been stronger. Our global partnership is an unshakeable pillar of peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the world. It is a testament to…

Andrew Yang's Interview with The Washington Post - China

Remarks by President Trump in Cabinet Meeting - South Korea and China

"So the economy is doing fantastically well. We want to vote on USMCA. We have other trade deals that we’ve done. We’ve done South Korea, which is a fantastic deal for us; it turned out even better than we thought. South Korea was a terrible deal. [...]China is doing very poorly — worst year they’ve had in 57 years. I wonder why. I wonder why. I’m sure you can’t figure it out.

And we’re doing great. We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars in…

President Trump's Remarks on Trade Negotiations with China

"Our farmers now have been taken care of well. China has already started their purchases. There was some misreporting, which does not — frankly, I’m not at all surprised — but there’s been some misreporting that China will start purchasing when the deal is signed.

The deal is being papered right now. Bob Lighthizer is with us. Mike Pompeo is with us. And they’re going to be joining us for the discussion.

But there have been some reports that China is not buying until the…

William Weld's Remarks During Interview with New Hampshire PBS - China and North Korea

President Trump's Remarks on Trade Negotiations with China

Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure - China

"THE PRESIDENT: So, we just made what, I guess, is one of the biggest deals that’s been made in a long time, with China. The Vice Premier has just left my office. We have a great deal. We’re papering it now. Over the next three or four or five weeks, hopefully it’ll get finished. A tremendous benefit to our farmers, technology, and many other things — the banking industry, financial services.

And, I guess, by now, you know pretty much we’ve had a very, very…

President Trump Meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He

William Weld's Remarks on China and North Korea

Julian Castro's Comments on China - National Basketball Association (NBA) Conflict

Joe Biden's Remarks on Human Rights in China

William Weld's Remarks at the 2020 Exchange Forum - China

"Laura Knoy:

What about you, Governor though? What would what would your top foreign policy priorities be? Obviously, you disagree with the president. You wouldn't be running against me if you didn't. But how about you? What would you pick as a top priority?

Bill Weld:

Well, I think I think climate change is a foreign priority. You have to deal with China and the rest of the world. And that's something that has to be done. And that's an existential threat, not just to…

William Weld's Op-Ed in Foreign Affairs - North Korea, Indo-Pacific Alliances, and China

"The nearest-term existential threat we face today involves nuclear weapons, whether in the hands of a state or a non-state actor. Every U.S. administration since the Cold War has been determined to prevent North Korea and Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. As president, I would be no less determined. If North Korea and Iran obtain or build nuclear weapons, then it will be the fault of the United States and its partners. But we cannot wish the problem away by bullying or bluster—Trump’s modus operandi…

President Trump Signs U.S.-Japan Trade Deals

Remarks by President Trump at Signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement - China

"THE PRESIDENT: I think so.

And also, and very importantly, we’ve taken in tremendous amounts of money in the form of tariffs from China. China has eaten the cost of those tariffs because they’ve devalued their currency and they’ve also pumped a lot of money into their system. Deflation is — we have no inflation. If anything, it’s going below the number so, therefore, we’re entitled to an interest rate cut. I hope the Fed does that because we’d be like a rocket ship. And…

Pete Buttigieg's Remarks on Protests in Hong Kong

Julian Castro's Remarks on Human Rights in China

Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure - China and North Korea

Q Sir, what did you say to the Chinese about the Bidens, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know. Somebody said that a long time ago. Was that in 2017? I don’t know. You’d have to tell me when. All I can tell you is this: When I speak to foreign leaders, I speak in an appropriate way. If you notice, they don’t mention the call that I had with the President of Ukraine. They don’t mention that because it was so good.

The only time…

Elizabeth Waren's Op-Ed for Foreign Policy - Hong Kong

"As the Chinese Communist Party commemorates 70 years of the People’s Republic of China by parading its military hardware in Beijing, the people of Hong Kong are struggling for their rights. For months, the world has watched as protesters in Hong Kong stood bravely in the face of police and state violence. They deserve our support.

What is happening in Hong Kong illustrates the challenge posed by China and the limitations of the United States’ current approach. In many cases, the United States will need…

William Weld's Answers to Council on Foreign Relations's Foreign Policy Poll

"1. How, if at all, should China’s treatment of the Uighurs and the situation in Hong Kong affect broader U.S. policy toward China?

China’s behavior should be a wake-up call for the United States, its allies, friends, and partners. While the United States can and must do business with China, it can have no illusions about the type of state China is and about its ambitions. It also needs to be clear that it will not accept China continuing to follow the old line, “we’re…

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan in Signing of Joint Trade Agreement

"[PRESIDENT TRUMP:] In a moment, the Prime Minister and I will sign a document outlining the significant steps we’re taking toward a fair and reciprocal trade agreement. We insist on fairness and we insist on reciprocal — we want reciprocal agreements from now on because — and I’m not just talking about Japan. I’m talking about virtually every nation in the world. They have not been reciprocal. They’ve been one-way streets.

Under the market access agreement that we’re announcing today, Japan will open new markets…

Remarks by President Trump in Press Conference - China

"Q Thank you. Kristina Partsinevelos, Fox Business. I want to focus on markets, because I’ll leave it to everybody else to talk about impeachment. Markets reacted positively after you spoke about China, and that it would happen sooner than — rather than unexpectedly.

Yet, you have the Foreign Minister of China saying that they have no intention of, you know, unseating the United States. And yet, they’re investing heavily in infrastructure and military.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Not anymore, maybe.

Q But what — what is different…

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe of Japan Before Bilateral Meeting

"PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. We have some of our great farmers and ranchers and businesspeople in the room, and likewise Japan. And we have tremendous representatives — some of the biggest people anywhere in the world — what we’re going and the agreement that we just signed. And it’s an honor to have you with us. I thought you could join us for this meeting.

We’ll be talking about certain elements of business and trade, and it would be good to have…

William Weld's Remarks on US Trade Policy Towards China

Business Insider Republican Debate Between Joe Walsh and William Weld - China

"Linette Lopez: Thank you, governor. So guys, business investment is down. Manufacturing is in a slump and central banks around the world are preparing for an economic slowdown. We here in the United States have already cut taxes. And President Trump has already pushed the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates which it did last week. So. How do you get the country on the right financial footing within the first 100 days. What policies do you enact? Governor you can go first.

Bill…

Pete Buttigieg's Remarks on US Relationship with China

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Modi of India Before Bilateral Meeting

"Q Mr. President, you’ve mentioned — President Trump, you’ve mentioned trade. You — and Prime Minister Modi had, during the Houston event, said that you know the art of the deal. Can we expect something on a trade deal in talks today? Or what, the U.S. and India, they can do together to boost trade ties going forward?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think very soon. We’re doing very well. And Bob Lighthizer, who’s right here, was negotiating with India and their very capable representatives. And…

President Trump Speaks at U.N. General Assembly - Japan and China

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan Before Bilateral Meeting - India and Kashmir

"Q Mr. President, after your last meeting with the Prime Minister, you offered to mediate between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. And since then, the situation has gotten more complicated, and India continues to deny our access in the region. So where does the offer stand now on (inaudible)?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It would always stand. If I can help, I would certainly do that. And it will be dependent on both of these gentlemen. One without the other doesn’t work, if you’re going to do…

Pete Buttigieg Remarks on Tariffs Against China in Dubuque, Iowa

Remarks by President Trump and President Moon of the Republic of Korea Before Bilateral Meeting - North Korea

"PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. We’re pleased to be with President Moon of South Korea. We have a long-term friendship, and we are making a lot of progress. We are working on tremendous trade deals. We — as you know, we’ve completed a trade deal, and that’s working out very well for both countries. That deal is completed now, and it’s been in existence for — solidly in existence for six months. And it’s been very good.

And we intend to do some…

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Lee of Singapore Before Bilateral Meeting - North Korea

"PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. As we just said, we signed a very important agreement having to do with defense and mutual defense, and I guess you could say mutual offense, also.

But we — we’re now going to talk about trade. We do tremendous amounts of trade with Singapore. And the Prime Minister — highly respected. One of the truly most respected men anywhere in the world. And he’s been my friend for a long time. And we’re doing very well. But…

Remarks by President Trump and President El-Sisi of Egypt Before Bilateral Meeting - China

"Q Mr. President, did Sheldon Adelson or any other Republican donors ask you to tone down your trade dispute with China just because they’re concerned about the economy or the impact?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, we’re doing very well with China. We are way up. Our stock market is up many, many, many trillions of dollars, and our country’s worth is up many trillions of dollars. And China is down many trillions of dollars.

If my opponent had won the election, China’s economy would have surpassed…

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Lee of Singapore at a Signing Ceremony

"PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. We are close friends with Singapore and with Prime Minister Lee, and we’ve gotten to know each other very well.

And we’re signing a memorandum of defense — really, an understanding. And it’s a very strong understanding. We know where we are. We have an extraordinary relationship with Singapore and with the Prime Minister.

And we’re going to be — there’ll be a lot of — a lot of trade involved in our agreement today. We’re going to…