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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President Trump's Remarks on North Korea

Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure - North Korea

"Q Mr. President, how do you plan on reengaging North Korea in the negotiations?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ll see about North Korea. I’d be surprised if North Korea acted hostiley [sic]. I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un. I think we both want to keep it that way. He knows I have an election coming up. I don’t think he wants to interfere with that. But we’ll have to see.

He’s somebody that I’ve gotten along with very well for three years…

Remarks by President Trump and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg After 1:1 Meeting - China and North Korea

"Q Could I ask you about NATO? Why is China such an important subject for this NATO Summit? What threat do they pose?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, China has become very powerful and much more so than in the past. They’ve done it, largely, with United States money, because our past Presidents allowed them to steal the cookie cutter. And that’s okay — I don’t begrudge China for that. I begrudge — I’m very disappointed in our past Presidents and leadership. They allowed this to happen…

Remarks By Secretary Esper in a Preflight Press Gaggle - Briefing on Indo-Pacific Trip

"SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MARK T. ESPER: Yeah, so I -- my second trip to the INDOPACOM theater. My first was in, what, August, a few months ago. This is my second, so two trips to our priority theater in a span of three to four months. I think it shows to you the importance we place on this theater with regard to our National Defense Strategy, and this was, what, seven-, eight-day trip.

Once again, we met with our traditional allies and with potential new…

Secretary of Defense Esper Press Gaggle En Route to INDOPACOM [U.S. Indo-Pacific Command] - South Korea and North Korea

"SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MARK T. ESPER: Yeah, so as you all know, this is the beginning of my second visit to Asia as secretary of defense. We have multiple countries that we'll be visiting. Some are longstanding allies. Some are partners in different ways.

And the purpose, of course, is to reinforce the importance of allies and partners, discuss key issues to make sure that they understand clearly that the INDOPACOM theater is DOD's number one priority. And like I said, to discuss a…

Secretary Pompeo With Rick Everett of Mid America Network - North Korea and China

"QUESTION: Special guest this afternoon on KQAM is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in Wichita one week ago with Senior Advisor to President Donald Trump Ivanka Trump. Mr. Secretary, a lot has happened in just a week’s time. We’ll start off with some of the most recent news, that being of North Korea’s latest missile test. What’s the latest on that situation?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So it would’ve been now the last 24 hours North Korea fired two – what we think were rockets…

Remarks by Vice President Pence at the Frederic V. Malek Memorial Lecture - China

"[...] I come here today to discuss a subject on which much of the destiny of the 21st century will hinge: the United States relationship with China.

Since the earliest days of this administration, President Trump has been determined to build a relationship with China on a foundation of candor, fairness, and mutual respect, in order to achieve, in his words, “a more just, secure, and peaceful world.”

One year ago this month, I spoke about many of Beijing’s policies most harmful to America’s interests…

Secretary Pompeo's Remarks at The Heritage Foundation

"The truth is that China is a strategic competitor at best that uses coercion and corruption as its tools of statecraft. (Applause.) The truth is that we can’t rely on failed strategies to convince Chairman Kim to give up his nuclear weapons; there’s still much work to be done. [...]And I traveled not just to Australia, India, and Thailand to present our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, but I also had the opportunity to be the first Secretary of State in history to…

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…

Secretary Pompeo and Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaos Dendias - North Korea

QUESTION: Thank you very much. I’ve got a couple of questions for Secretary Pompeo, please. Firstly, a quick one on North Korea. Are you making any progress with the North Koreans in Stockholm this weekend? [...]

SECRETARY POMPEO: So it’s too early to know if we make any progress in Stockholm with respect to North Korea. I’m hopeful that we will. We came with a set of ideas. We hope that the North Koreans came with a good spirit and a willingness to try to…

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…