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

Pinned Posts

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…

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President Trump's Trip to the Philippines

“President Trump celebrated the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and the 40th anniversary of United States-ASEAN ties, including by releasing a Joint Statement of the ASEAN-United States Commemorative Summit. The leaders welcomed enhanced United States-ASEAN cooperation on maritime security issues, including through the first-ever United States-ASEAN Maritime Exercise in 2018. President Trump attended the EAS, the region’s premier leaders-led forum for addressing the Indo-Pacific’s most pressing political and security issues, and rallied international cooperation to address shared regional challenges, including the South China Sea, counterterrorism, and…

Remarks by President Trump at APEC CEO Summit-Da Nang, Vietnam

"I am so thrilled to be here today at APEC, because this organization was founded to help achieve that very purpose. America stands as a proud member of the community of nations who make a home on the Pacific. We have been an active partner in this region since we first won independence ourselves. [...] We have been friends, partners, and allies in the Indo-Pacific for a long, long time, and we will be friends, partners, and allies for a long time to come. As…

Remarks by President Trump and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee

"The United States and Singapore share a profound belief in a society built on a foundation of law. A nation ruled by law provides the greatest security for the rights of citizens and the best path to shared and lasting prosperity. Both the United States and Singapore understand the unmatched power of private enterprise to uplift the human condition. These values have made our societies stronger, sustained our partnership through the Cold War, and laid a critical foundation for our lasting relationship today. Our common…

President Trump's Meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib

"The President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, hosted the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, at the White House to strengthen the Comprehensive Partnership between the two countries as they mark the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations. The United States and Malaysia share a long history of close cooperation built on economic ties and mutual security interests. The two leaders pledged to continue building upon that relationship through enhanced diplomatic, economic, security, and people-to-people ties. President Trump and Prime Minister Najib…

Secretary Mattis Remarks at Shangri-La Dialogue - South China Sea

"The 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the case brought by the Philippines on the South China Sea is binding. We call on all claimants to use this as a starting point to peacefully manage their disputes in the South China Sea. Artificial island construction and indisputable militarization of facilities on features in international waters undermine regional stability. The scope and effect of China's construction activities in the South China Sea differ from those in other countries in several key ways. This…

President Trump's Meeting with Chinese President Xi

"President Trump and President Xi agreed to work in concert to expand areas of cooperation while managing differences based on mutual respect. [...] President Trump noted the challenges caused by Chinese government intervention in its economy and raised serious concerns about the impact of China’s industrial, agricultural, technology, and cyber policies on United States jobs and exports. The President underscored the need for China to take concrete steps to level the playing field for American workers, stressing repeatedly the need for reciprocal market access. [...]…

President Trump's Interview with Reuters - China and the South China Sea

"Many things took place that should not have been allowed. One of them is the building of a massive, you know, massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea [by China]. And don't forget I've only been here for four weeks. This is something that took place and has been started three years ago and you were in a much better negotiating position three years ago. I am not happy about it."

Secretary Mattis' Confirmation Hearing Remarks - China and the South China Sea