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.

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Vice President Pence's Remarks at the Heritage Foundation - Trade with the Indo-Pacific

Remarks by Vice President Pence at the Lord Mayor’s International Trade Dinner - South Korea, Japan, and China

"And since we took office, the President has pursued an ambitious trade agenda built on the principles of free and fair and reciprocal trade. We made a new trade deal with South Korea. We reached an agreement in principle with Japan for a free trade agreement. We’ve put China on notice. We ended the era of economic surrender by using the power of the United States economy. And this morning, we announced that negotiations on a new trade deal with China will resume in October."

Remarks by Vice President Pence and Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir of Iceland Before Bilateral Meeting - China

"VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: [...] And we’re also grateful, with China’s increased activity and efforts to make the economic investments in the region, that, so far, Iceland has declined the Belt and Road Initiative.

And we also spoke today — and perhaps we can again — about the United States’ concerns about 5G and our desire to work with Iceland and other freedom-loving nations to find alternatives to essentially China’s state-based 5G operation."

Remarks by Vice President Pence in a Press Gaggle - China

"Q What action should be taken to address China and Russia in the area? Which steps should be taken? What action?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, first, let me begin by saying what I told the Foreign Minister today: The United States is grateful for the stand Iceland took rejecting China’s Belt and Road financial investment in Iceland. We truly believe that it is essential that we strengthen the ties that bind nations across this region of the world. And for Iceland to take that stand…

Remarks by Vice President Pence and Taoiseach Varadkar of Ireland in Joint Press Statement - China

"VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: [...] As the United States continues our negotiations with China for a free and fair reciprocal trade deal, as you and I discussed today, the United States urges Ireland and all our allies in Europe to reject equipment that could compromise the integrity of our shared telecom infrastructure.

It is well known that Chinese law requires Chinese telecom companies to provide Beijing’s vast security apparatus with access to any data that touches their network. And we believe, in the United States, that…

Remarks by Vice President Pence at the 101st American Legion National Convention - China and North Korea

"We’ve put China on notice that we will no longer tolerate their unfair and abusive trade practices. And the United States military will ensure the freedom of navigation on the Seven Seas around the world. (Applause.) [...]

Beyond that, from the outset of this administration, this President also stood strong against North Korean aggression, and now North Korea is at the negotiating table. As I stand before you today, there’s no more nuclear tests, no more threats against America. Three historic meetings have taken place. And…

Vice President Pence's Remarks on Human Rights Abuses in Myanmar

Remarks by Vice President Pence at the Detroit Economic Club Luncheon - China

"Seventeen years ago, America agreed to give Beijing open access to our economy: We brought China into the World Trade Organization.

Previous administrations, of one party and another, made the choice in the hope that freedom in China would expand in all of its forms if we opened our markets to them, and I’m not talking about just economically, but also politically — with a newfound respect for classical liberal principles, the rule of law, private property, personal liberty, and religious freedom. We hoped to…

Remarks by Vice President Pence in Fireside Chat with Mike Farris of the Alliance Defending Freedom - China and New Zealand

"MR. FARRIS: You recently spoke at the extraordinary event sponsored by Secretary Pompeo, the Ministerial on International Religious Freedom. And I know this has been an important issue for you for many years. Can you tell us what you think the state of the world is on religious freedom — not just for Christians, but for people of all faith?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, first, let me again say how grateful I am that President Trump has made religious liberty around the world a priority…

Readout of Vice President Mike Pence’s Meeting with the International Religious Freedom Roundtable - China

"Vice President Pence met today with several champions of religious freedom. Joined by Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, the Vice President reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to stand with people of every faith in every country around the world, including in the People’s Republic of China where the administration will continue to call upon Beijing to respect the rights enshrined in China’s constitution to allow Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian believers throughout the country the freedom to practice their faiths."

Remarks by Vice President Pence at the Magna Seating Groundbreaking - China

"And, of course, today, our team returned to China to continue negotiations with a nation that represents half of our international trade deficit.

As you all have witnessed, so far, President Trump has taken a strong stand. We’ve imposed as much as $250 billion in tariffs on China. And I’ll make you a promise: This President and this administration is going to continue to stand strong until China opens its markets and starts treating American workers and American companies the way they deserve to be…

Remarks by Vice President Pence at the 2nd Annual Religious Freedom Ministerial - Myanmar [Burma], China, and North Korea

"We’re also standing up for the persecuted Rohingya people in Burma. While that conflict has fallen along ethnic lines, we cannot ignore the rise of militant Buddhism against Muslim and Christian minorities that’s taken place. A brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya has forced more than 700,000 to flee across the border to Bangladesh. And though the United States has repeatedly urged the Burmese government to hold accountable all those responsible, the government has continued to imprison and harass innocent men and women.