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

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Singaporean Foreign Minister Balakrishnan

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. Secretary Pompeo reiterated U.S. support for Southeast Asian states upholding their sovereign rights and interests under international law, and he underscored U.S. opposition to PRC efforts to use coercion to push its unlawful South China Sea maritime claims. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Balakrishnan also discussed the importance of our longstanding partnership and ways to expand our cooperation further, including in ASEAN and its related fora."

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marsudi

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi today about the continued, strong U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership and the two countries’ shared goal of respect for international law in the South China Sea. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Marsudi highlighted the importance of increased public health and economic cooperation to rebuild our economies and keep the region safe."

All Posts

Joint Statement: Five Eyes Defense Ministers’ Meeting

"The defense ministers/secretaries from the Five Eyes nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) met via videoconference on 22 / 23 June.

Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to advance defense and security cooperation on matters of common interest to support and defend a stable, rules-based, global order that is increasingly being challenged.

Ministers recognized the role of regional partners and institutions in shaping globally and across the Indo-Pacific a stable and secure, economically resilient community, where the sovereign rights of all…

United States Stands with Canada Against China’s Arbitrary Detention of Canadian Citizens

"The United States is extremely concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) decision to proceed with formal charges against Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. These charges are politically motivated and completely groundless. The United States stands with Canada in calling on Beijing for the immediate release of the two men and rejects the use of these unjustified detentions to coerce Canada. Additionally, we echo Canada’s call for immediate consular access to its two citizens, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular…

Readout of Secretary Esper's Phone Call With Thailand Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Prayut Chan-o-cha

"Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spoke with his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Prayut Chan-o-cha, on the phone today to discuss key bilateral issues within the Alliance. Secretary Esper thanked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government for their leadership in responding to COVID-19 and offered continued assistance from the United States. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha conveyed his government’s gratitude to the United States for its support, which has been led by the United States Agency for International Development, the Centers for…

Europe and the China Challenge

"I want to make a few brief remarks and then I’m looking forward to taking questions.

First: the idea that Europe is being forced to choose between the United States and China. I want to talk about that at some length.

Second: the belief that it’s costless to compromise your values.

Everywhere I go – everywhere I go, I talk to my counterparts and audiences like this about the reality of what we see in the world – especially in China. I’ve done it in…

Letter from President Trump to Congress on the Continuing Threat Posed by North Korea

"Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days before the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to North Korea that…

Statement by President Trump on the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020

"Today, I have signed into law S. 3744, the “Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020” (the “Act”). The Act holds accountable perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses such as the systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China. I note, however, that section 6(g) of the Act purports to limit my discretion to terminate inadmissibility sanctions under the Act. In some circumstances, this limitation could be…

Text of a Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to North Korea

"On June 26, 2008, by Executive Order 13466, the President declared a national emergency with respect to North Korea pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula. The President also found that it was necessary to maintain certain restrictions with respect to North Korea that would otherwise…

Ambassador Lighthizer's Testimony Before the House Ways and Means Committee Hearing on Trade Policy

Transcript of President Trump’s Interview With The Wall Street Journal

[...] Mr. Trump: I don’t know. We’ll have a lot of jobs before November 3. I mean, all I can say is this: We will have created a lot of jobs prior to November 3. Tremendous number of jobs, a tremendous increase, I expect a tremendous increase in GDP. And we’ll be heading you know, for the top. We’ll be back. And we’ve had a lot of advantages, a lot of experience. We did it once and we’ll do it again. Bottom line is we…

Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting with Chinese Communist Party Politburo Member Yang Jiechi

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met today with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Politburo Member Yang Jiechi in Honolulu, Hawaii to exchange views on U.S.-China relations. The Secretary stressed important American interests and the need for fully-reciprocal dealings between the two nations across commercial, security, and diplomatic interactions. He also stressed the need for full transparency and information sharing to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and prevent future outbreaks."

U.S. Trade Representative on 2020 Trade Policy Agenda - Senate Hearing

G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Hong Kong

"We, the Foreign Ministers of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the High Representative of the European Union underscore our grave concern regarding China’s decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong.

China’s decision is not in conformity with the Hong Kong Basic Law and its international commitments under the principles of the legally binding, UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. The proposed national security law would risk seriously undermining the “One Country, Two Systems” principle and the territory’s…

Secretary Esper's Op-Ed in "The Straits Times" on US Indo-Pacific Policy

"As an Indo-Pacific nation, the United States is committed to ensuring the region remains free and open for all, and upholding the rules and norms that have secured prosperity for nations of all sizes.

In the year since the Department of Defence released the Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, we have made great strides across the three pillars of our strategy: preparedness, strengthening partnerships, and promoting a more networked region - but there is still much more work to be done.

First, under preparedness, we are prioritising…

Secretary Esper's Phone Call With the Philippines Secretary of Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana

"Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke by phone today with his Philippine counterpart, Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana. Secretary Esper wished Secretary Lorenzana a Happy Independence Day and reiterated his support for a strong and enduring U.S.-Philippine defense alliance. Secretary Esper expressed his support for the Philippines Government decision last week to suspend the Visiting Forces Agreement termination, and reiterated how the agreement benefits both countries. Further, Secretary Esper and Secretary Lorenzana discussed a range of regional security issues including impacts…

Philippines Independence Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I wish the people of the Republic of the Philippines a happy and prosperous independence day on June 12.

The U.S.-Philippine alliance is fortified by our shared history, rich people-to-people ties, and deep bilateral cooperation. As we stood together during World War II and in the global fight against terrorism, our nations are partnering again to contain and mitigate COVID-19. Our friendship and cooperation stand as a model for ensuring peace, stability, prosperity, and…

Press Availability on the Release of the 2019 International Religious Freedom Report - China

"And in China, state-sponsored repression against all religions continues to intensify. The Chinese Communist Party is now ordering religious organizations to obey CCP leadership and infuse communist dogma into their teachings and practice of their faith. The mass detentions of Uighurs in Xinjiang continues. So does the repression of Tibetans and Buddhists and Falun Gong and Christians. [...]

Speaking of China, last week I was humbled and honored to meet with several survivors of the Chinese Communist Party’s massacre at Tiananmen Square that happened 31 years…

On China’s Attempted Coercion of the United Kingdom

"The United States stands with our allies and partners against the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive bullying tactics. In the latest example, Beijing has reportedly threatened to punish British bank HSBC and to break commitments to build nuclear power plants in the United Kingdom unless London allows Huawei to build its 5G network. Shenzhen-based Huawei is an extension of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state.

The CCP’s browbeating of HSBC, in particular, should serve as a cautionary tale. Just last week, the bank’s Asia-Pacific CEO, Peter…

Ambassador Lighthizer's Op-Ed in "Foreign Affairs" - China

"The principles of a worker-focused trade policy should be front and center as the United States confronts two of the most significant trade challenges it will face in the coming years: market-distorting state capitalism in China and a dysfunctional WTO.

No trade policy decision since the end of World War II proved more devastating to working people than the extension of permanent normal trade relations to China in 2000—a legal status entitling it to the lowest possible tariffs. Despite President Bill…

Remarks by President Trump on the Jobs Numbers Report - China

"But we are doing something that — this was an important day because this shows that what we’ve been doing is right. And the reason it’s been and is so good is because the body was strong. Our body was so powerful that we could actually close our country, save millions of lives, stop people very early on, from China, from coming in — because we stopped early, at the end of January, very early, people coming from China, who were infected, coming into our…

On the Chinese Communist Party’s Obscene Propaganda

"The Chinese Communist Party’s callous exploitation of the tragic death of George Floyd to justify its authoritarian denial of basic human dignity exposes its true colors yet again. As with dictatorships throughout history, no lie is too obscene, so long as it serves the Party’s lust for power. This laughable propaganda should not fool anyone.

The contrast between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could not be more stark.

In China, when a church burns, the attack was almost certainly directed by…

New Nasdaq Restrictions Affecting Listing of Chinese Companies

"The Trump Administration is committed to ensuring that all American businesses and investors can operate on a level playing field with the rest of the world. As part of this ongoing effort, I applaud Nasdaq for requiring auditing firms to ensure all listed companies comply with international reporting and inspection standards.

Nasdaq’s announcement is particularly important given a pattern of fraudulent accounting practices in China-based companies. To protect American investors and U.S. national security, President Trump moved to stop the investment of U.S. federal employee…