The Trump Administration & US - Indo-Pacific Relations

This resource will track statements, developments, visits, and other interactions in US-Indo-Pacific relations under the President Trump administration. Special focus will be given to the comments and activities of President Donald J. Trump; Vice President Mike Pence; United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer; Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jr.; and (former) Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Methodology

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Secretary Pompeo With Tony Perkins of Washington Watch - China

"QUESTION: Well, let me just start with a very pointed question. Is there anything that you could hear about China that would shock you at this point?

SECRETARY POMPEO: When you stare at General Secretary Xi’s actions and put – and just lay them down against the most fundamental human rights, the most unalienable rights that we know each of us has because we’re made in the image of God, there’s an enormous mismatch. And whether – you referenced what’s taking place in Xinjiang –…

On the CCP’s Orwellian Censorship of Hong Kong

"The Chinese Communist Party’s destruction of free Hong Kong continues. With the ink barely dry on the repressive National Security Law, local authorities – in an Orwellian move – have now established a central government national security office, started removing books critical of the CCP from library shelves, banned political slogans, and are now requiring schools to enforce censorship.

Until now, Hong Kong flourished because it allowed free thinking and free speech, under an independent rule of law. No more. The United States condemns Beijing’s…

Australia-Japan-United States Defense Ministers’ Meeting Joint Statement

"Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, Japanese Minister of Defense KONO Taro, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper convened a virtual trilateral defense ministerial meeting on July 7 (Washington). The ministers reaffirmed their joint commitment to enhance security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region in keeping with their shared values and longstanding alliances and close partnerships. This was the ninth meeting among the three nations’ defense leaders.

The ministers concurred that the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the importance of a rules-based international order in…

Secretary Esper Message to the Force on Accomplishments in Implementation of the National Defense Strategy - China

"First, one of our top ten goals – the priority that drives and underlies many of our efforts today – is to focus the Department on China. To do this, we established a China Strategy Management Group to push that agenda forward. I also directed the National Defense University to refocus its curriculum by dedicating 50 percent of the coursework to the PRC, and I tasked the Military Departments and Services to make China the pacing threat in all of our schools, programs, and training."

Implementing Visa Restrictions Under the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act

"The United States seeks fair, transparent, and reciprocal treatment from the People’s Republic of China for our citizens. We have taken several steps to further this goal. Unfortunately, Beijing has continued systematically to obstruct travel to the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and other Tibetan areas by U.S. diplomats and other officials, journalists, and tourists, while PRC officials and other citizens enjoy far greater access to the United States.

Therefore, today I am announcing visa restrictions on PRC government and Chinese Communist Party officials determined to…

Secretary Pompeo With Laura Ingraham of Fox News - China

"QUESTION: What will their China policy look like? From what you know now, with what Biden believes that the real threat to the United States and the culture wars that are – what can we expect as Americans as a policy toward China if that likelihood would come to pass?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Laura, I think we know because we have eight years of history with President Obama and Vice President Biden’s China policy. They did nothing, whether it was on the important issues we’re facing…

Mongolia National Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I extend my best wishes to the people of Mongolia on the opening of the Naadam festival on July 11.

As strategic partners and Third Neighbors, the United States and Mongolia enjoy a strong partnership bound by common interests, shared democratic values, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

On this occasion for celebration, I wish the people of Mongolia a wonderful Naadam."

Five Years of Injustice Following China’s 709 Crackdown

"On July 9, five years ago the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a nationwide offensive targeting hundreds of defense lawyers and human rights defenders for detention, interrogation, and politically motivated criminal charges. The “709” crackdown, named for the date it began on July 9, 2015, was designed to intimidate a generation of lawyers and activists from representing or assisting anyone the CCP perceives as a threat to its absolute power. It showed the world what it means to govern via “rule by law,” rather than…

Secretary Pompeo at a Press Availability - China

"SECRETARY POMPEO: [...] I want to start today with the Chinese Communist Party.

As with all unelected, communist regimes, Beijing fears its own people’s free thinking more than any foreign foe.

We were deeply troubled to learn this week that the CCP detained Xu Zhangrun for criticizing General Secretary Xi Jinping’s repressive regime and the CCP’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He should be released. He was simply telling the truth. He should be released as soon as possible.

I’ll repeat a theme I’ve been…

Kiribati National Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States, I congratulate the people of Kiribati as you celebrate your National Day on July 12.

The hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic have proven a challenge for us all. As we adapt to a changed world and shape its future for the better, we look forward to working with partners such as Kiribati that have long shared our core values of democracy, human rights, and respect for all. Our 1983 Treaty of Friendship, which dates to the…

Secretary Michael Pompeo At a Press Briefing on Current U.S. Foreign Policy - Indo-Pacific

"SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. Look, I’ll be very brief because I want to take as many questions as I can. Thank you all for joining me on the call today. I know there’s – be a wide range of questions that will span the entire security situation all across the globe. I thought I’d highlight just a couple things.

First, the challenge that is presented to the people of Hong Kong who have been denied the central commitments that the Chinese Communist Party had made…

The United States Imposes Sanctions and Visa Restrictions in Response to the Ongoing Human Rights Violations and Abuses in Xinjiang

"The United States will not stand idly by as the CCP carries out human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang, to include forced labor, arbitrary mass detention, and forced population control, and attempts to erase their culture and Muslim faith.

I am designating three senior CCP officials under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2020 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, for their involvement in gross violations of human rights: Chen Quanguo, the Party…

2020 Singapore General Election

"The United States congratulates the people of Singapore on the country’s 13th general election on July 10 and congratulates Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong and the People’s Action Party on their victory.

The United States and Singapore have enjoyed more than 50 years of valuable partnership since we established diplomatic relations in 1966. Our friendship is deeply rooted in our shared values and a common desire for peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region. We look forward to working with the newly elected…

Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between the United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

"July 11 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Over the last quarter century, our two countries have built a partnership and friendship founded on shared interests, mutual respect, and people-to-people ties. Our everyday interactions are highlighted by increasing trade and investment ties, strategic cooperation, and collaboration on humanitarian and legacy of war issues, including the solemn duty of accounting for our wartime missing. In recent years, we have strengthened and…

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Solomon Islands National Day 

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I congratulate the people of Solomon Islands as you celebrate your National Day on July 7.

While the COVID-19 pandemic means the commemorations will be different this year, the United States looks forward to beginning another year of friendship with Solomon Islands. Our partnership continues to grow as we engage in more cultural and professional exchanges, expand our security cooperation, and execute on our development assistance commitments. The announcement late last year of the…

Commerce Releases Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory

"The Department of Commerce, along with the Departments of State, the Treasury, and Homeland Security, are issuing a business advisory to highlight risks and considerations for businesses with supply chain exposure to entities engaged in forced labor and other human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

“China continues to commit brutal human rights abuses against ethnic minorities from Xinjiang, including operating dystopian surveillance systems and employing the contemptible practice of forced labor,” said Secretary of Commerce…

Secretary Pompeo With Bret Baier of Fox News Special Report - China

"QUESTION: For more on China, Hong Kong, and America’s role in the world, joining me now, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mr. Secretary, thanks for being here.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Bret, thanks for having me on this evening. Great to be with you again.

QUESTION: We just heard you talk about the companies, American companies, warning them to keep forced labor out of their supply chains, pointing directly at China and these concentration camps, as described by the Defense Department. Will we see investigations and prosecutions…

Secretary Pompeo at a Press Availability - China

Now, turning to the substance of my remarks today, and I want to talk about one of the world’s most unfree countries.

Yesterday the Chinese Communist Party implemented its draconian national security law on Hong Kong, in violation of commitments that it made to the Hong Kong people and to the United Kingdom, in a UN-registered treaty – and in contravention of Hong Kongers’ human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Free Hong Kong was one of the world’s most stable, prosperous, and dynamic cities. Now it…

Issuance of the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory

"Today, the U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is issuing an advisory to caution businesses about the risks of supply chain links to entities that engage in human rights abuses, including forced labor in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China.

Since 2017, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has ramped up its campaign of systematic repression of Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minority groups that includes widespread arbitrary…

On Beijing’s Imposition of National Security Legislation on Hong Kong

"The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to impose draconian national security legislation on Hong Kong destroys the territory’s autonomy and one of China’s greatest achievements. Hong Kong demonstrated to the world what a free Chinese people could achieve – one of the most successful economies and vibrant societies in the world. But Beijing’s paranoia and fear of its own people’s aspirations have led it to eviscerate the very foundation of the territory’s success, turning “One Country, Two Systems” into “One Country, One System.”

The CCP’s action…

On China’s Coercive Family Planning and Forced Sterilization Program in Xinjiang

"The world received disturbing reports today that the Chinese Communist Party is using forced sterilization, forced abortion, and coercive family planning against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, as part of a continuing campaign of repression. German researcher Adrian Zenz’s shocking revelations are sadly consistent with decades of CCP practices that demonstrate an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and basic human dignity. We call on the Chinese Communist Party to immediately end these horrific practices and ask all nations to join the…

U.S. Government Ending Controlled Defense Exports to Hong Kong

"The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to eviscerate Hong Kong’s freedoms has forced the Trump Administration to re-evaluate its policies toward the territory. As Beijing moves forward with passing the national security law, the United States will today end exports of U.S.-origin defense equipment and will take steps toward imposing the same restrictions on U.S. defense and dual-use technologies to Hong Kong as it does for China.

The United States is forced to take this action to protect U.S. national security. We can no longer distinguish…

On China’s Threats to Impose Visa Restrictions on U.S. Officials

"The Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on Hong Kong prompted the United States to retool its relationship with the territory. The Chinese Communist Party’s threats to retaliate by restricting visas for U.S. citizens exposes once again how Beijing refuses to take responsibility for its own choices. If China wants to regain the trust of Hong Kongers and the international community, it should honor the promises it made to the Hong Kong people and to the United Kingdom in the U.N.-registered 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration."

Statement Secretary Ross on Revocation of Hong Kong Special Status

"With the Chinese Communist Party’s imposition of new security measures on Hong Kong, the risk that sensitive U.S. technology will be diverted to the People’s Liberation Army or Ministry of State Security has increased, all while undermining the territory’s autonomy. Those are risks the U.S. refuses to accept and have resulted in the revocation of Hong Kong’s special status.

Commerce Department regulations affording preferential treatment to Hong Kong over China, including the availability of export license exceptions, are suspended. Further actions to eliminate differential treatment…

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Momen

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen to reaffirm the importance of the U.S.-Bangladesh relationship and discuss our continued cooperation to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Momen reviewed the more than $43 million in COVID-19 assistance that the United States has provided thus far to Bangladesh and discussed Bangladesh’s critical role in the international response to the pandemic by manufacturing emergency medical and protective supplies. Secretary Pompeo commended Foreign Minister Momen for Bangladesh’s…

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gunawardena

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to reaffirm our partnership with the people of Sri Lanka and our commitment to supporting the country’s development and sovereignty. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Gunawardena discussed our mutual interest in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and shared commitment to economic stability and sustainable growth. The two leaders also discussed the United States’ ongoing COVID-19 assistance to Sri Lanka, which totals almost $6 million to date, and reviewed the longstanding U.S.-Sri…