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.; former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis.


Pinned Posts

President Trump's Remarks on China During September 21, 2020 Interview with Fox and Friends

Palau Independence Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States and the American people, I congratulate the government and the citizens of Palau as you mark your 26th Independence Day.

The close friendship between our two countries remains firmly rooted in a foundation of respect for democratic principles, human rights, and the underlying fundamental freedoms to which all are entitled. While October 1st marks the beginning of Palau’s 26th year of independence, the ties between our two countries have a much deeper shared history.

The bond…

Remarks by President Trump to the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly - China

"As we pursue this bright future, we must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.

In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world. China condemned my travel ban on their country, even as they cancelled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes.

The Chinese government and the World Health Organization — which is virtually controlled by China — falsely declared that there was no evidence…

Secretary Pompeo's Remarks on China During a Meeting with State Legislatures in Wisconsin

"As Americans across the country were dealing with the pandemic that was released from Wuhan, they’ve been worried about their lives, their livelihoods. Senator Roth got an email from Wu Ting, a person who was in the consul at China’s consulate in Chicago – it landed in his email inbox.

Ms. Wu stated that she was “responsible for China-Wisconsin relations.”

The email included a draft resolution that she asked the Senator to pass – in this chamber – praising China’s response to the coronavirus.


Secretary Pompeo With Tony Perkins of Value Voters Summit - China

"QUESTION: I want to wrap up our time together by returning to the issue of China. Recently you had made the comment that the world has awakened to the threat Beijing poses to international security and the global economy. When we see what’s happened with the coronavirus, when we see the fact that they’re working even into the – not in only Latin America, but even here in the United States, to undermine America’s republic.

SECRETARY POMPEO: I’ll give you an example. Tomorrow I’m going…

Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting with Japanese National Security Secretariat Secretary General Shigeru Kitamura

"Today, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met with the Japanese National Security Secretariat Secretary General Shigeru Kitamura in Washington, D.C. Secretary Pompeo congratulated Secretary General Kitamura on his re-appointment as Secretary General following Prime Minister Suga’s election on September 16. Secretary Pompeo and Secretary General Kitamura reaffirmed that the U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in a free and open Indo-Pacific."

Secretary Pompeo's Remarks on China on Fox's "Life Liberty & Levin"

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Readout of Secretary Esper’s Phone Call with Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto

"Today, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke on the phone with his Indonesian counterpart, Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto, to discuss U.S. and Indonesian military cooperation in the age of COVID-19. Secretary Esper and Minister Prabowo discussed maritime security, defense acquisitions, and military exercises. Both the Secretary and Minister Prabowo conveyed their desire to meet in-person soon.

Both leaders expressed concern for those that COVID-19 has affected in the United States and Indonesia. Minister Prabowo thanked the American people for providing ventilators…

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."

On China’s Predatory Fishing Practices in the Galápagos

"The People’s Republic of China subsidizes the world’s largest commercial fishing fleet, which routinely violates the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of coastal states, fishes without permission, and overfishes licensing agreements. Given this unfortunate record of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, rule-breaking, and willful environmental degradation, it is more important than ever that the international community stands together for the rule of law and insists on better environmental stewardship from Beijing.

The Ecuadorian government has done just that in raising the alarm about the hundreds of…

Secretary Pompeo With Maria Bartiromo of Fox News Sunday Morning Futures - China

"QUESTION: So I want to start with the U.S. sanctioning the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corporation and two of its officials for their connection to the human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Tell us about this company, its reach, why these sanctions are important in terms of moving the needle on what’s taking place.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, the risk to the people in that region has been great. I’ve talked about this. This is the greatest human rights violation of this century to date. And what…

On the Postponement of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Elections

"The United States condemns the Hong Kong government’s decision to postpone by one year upcoming Legislative Council elections originally scheduled for September 6. There is no valid reason for such a lengthy delay. It is likely, therefore, that Hong Kong will never again be able to vote – for anything or anyone. This regrettable action confirms that Beijing has no intention of upholding the commitments it made to the Hong Kong people and the United Kingdom under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-registered treaty, and…

On Sanctioning Human Rights Abusers in Xinjiang, China

"The Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses in Xinjiang, China against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities rank as the stain of the century. The Trump Administration has led the world’s effort to impose tangible costs on the PRC’s continuous campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, intrusive surveillance, forced labor, forced population control, involuntary collection of biometric data, and genetic analyses targeted at these groups. Today, we are continuing that record of principled action.

On July 9, 2020, the United States designated Chen Quanguo, the current…

Readout of Secretary Esper’s Phone Call With Timor-Leste's Minister of Defense Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus

"Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke with his Timor-Leste counterpart, Minister of Defense Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus. Both leaders offered sympathies to those affected by COVID-19 in the United States and Timor-Leste. Secretary Esper commended Timor-Leste’s success in controlling the spread of COVID-19, and Minister Filomeno conveyed Timor-Leste’s gratitude to the United States for allocating $2.4 million in COVID-19 relief funding. Secretary Esper and Minister Filomeno also discussed bilateral defense priorities, including military exercises, security cooperation funding for Baucau Airport, and Timor-Leste’s…

On the Passing of Former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui

"On behalf of the American people, I would like to offer my sincere condolences on the passing of former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui.

As Taiwan’s first democratically elected president, Lee helped put an end to decades of authoritarianism and ushered in a new era of economic prosperity, openness, and rule of law. During his 12-year tenure, Lee’s bold reforms played a crucial role in transforming Taiwan into the beacon of democracy we see today. He cemented the deep friendship between the United States and Taiwan.

Secretary Pompeo on State Department Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request - Indo-Pacific

Vanuatu National Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I offer best wishes as you celebrate your National Day on July 30.

For forty years, the United States and the Republic of Vanuatu have worked together to advance shared priorities that include maritime security, good governance, and strong people-to-people relations. There is no greater testament to our friendship than the 863 Peace Corps volunteers who have made Vanuatu their home over the last thirty years.

As your nation marks its 40th year of…

Secretary Pompeo With Michael Knowles of The Ben Shapiro Show - China

"QUESTION: So, Secretary Pompeo, we have been kind of inwardly focused, I think, over the last few months. And yet, as this Chinese coronavirus has caused us all to look inward, China itself is aggressing around the world. They more or less invaded part of India just a little while ago, killed Indian soldiers; in the South China Sea there have been threats to the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, flying over Taiwan, threatening of Japan. It seems that China is getting aggressive. What does it mean…

Secretary Pompeo With Simon Conway of The Joe Pags Show - China

"QUESTION: I’m doing very well. It’s always good to talk to you. It seems that our thoughts, however, are pretty much captivated in terms of what you’re doing with China once again. I’ve got like a pile of China stories I could talk to you about. Is this occupying nearly all of your time, or are there other countries we have to concern ourselves with?

SECRETARY POMPEO: There are – look, there are many challenges that are presented to American national security, but none today…

Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Payne

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met yesterday with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne in Washington, D.C. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Payne discussed the unbreakable U.S.-Australia alliance, emphasizing its importance to security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the world. The Secretary and the Foreign Minister also discussed the 30th Australia – United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), which they will participate in today along with their Defense counterparts."

Joint Statement on Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) 2020

"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper hosted Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds on July 28 in Washington for the 30th Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN 2020).

During their discussions, the Secretaries and Ministers built on Prime Minister Morrison’s historic official visit to Washington in September 2019, which demonstrated what President Trump has called the “long, cherished, and unwavering friendship between the United States and Australia.” More than a century since we first fought…

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo at a Press Availability With Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, and Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds

"SECRETARY POMPEO: Good afternoon, everyone.

We have had a lively and productive set of conversations this morning and last night as well. I’ll get to that in just a bit.

First, though, I want to personally thank Ministers Payne and Reynolds for traveling all this way, halfway around the world, to be with us today. That is a tough trip in ordinary times.

And your entire delegation will be quarantining when you get back. Not many partners will do that for us, and so thank…

Proclamation on National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, 2020

"Sixty-seven years ago today, guns fell silent along the Korean Demilitarized Zone after more than 3 years of brutal fighting to defeat the expansion of communism on the Korean Peninsula. On National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, we pause to remember the uncommon courage and sacrifice of ordinary Americans who fought to defend freedom and protect the values we hold dear.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War. When the conflict began, Americans were still rebuilding their lives in…

Secretary Pompeo With Martha MacCallum on The Story with Martha MacCallum on Fox News - China

"QUESTION: Are China and the United States at a crossroads that could lead us into another cold war, perhaps even a cold war decade? In a speech today at the Nixon Library, Secretary Pompeo said this: “The CCP fears the Chinese people’s honest opinions more than any foe. And save for losing their own grip on power, they have reason – no reason to.”

That as China’s general consul in Houston tells Politico today in an interview that they do not plan to leave their…

Communist China and the Free World’s Future


I want to recognize several courageous Chinese dissidents who have joined us here today and made a long trip.

And to all the other distinguished guests – (applause) – to all the other distinguished guests, thank you for being here. For those of you who got under the tent, you must have paid extra.

And those of you watching live, thank you for tuning in.

And finally, as the governor mentioned, I was born here in Santa Ana, not very far from…

IISS Special Presentation with Secretary Esper - US Indo-Pacific Policy

Secretary Pompeo and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at a Press Availability - China

"SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, and good afternoon. I want to thank Foreign Secretary Raab for the invitation to be here today. I know it’s not easy to host events, especially at these times, so I want to thank you and your staff for putting this all together and making it work. It was a very productive conversation. We of course began with the challenge presented by the Chinese Communist Party and the COVID-19 virus that originated in Wuhan, China. On behalf of the American…

Commerce Department Adds Eleven Chinese Entities Implicated in Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang to the Entity List

"The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added to the Entity List 11 Chinese companies implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, involuntary collection of biometric data, and genetic analyses targeted at Muslim minority groups from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Today’s action will result in these companies facing new restrictions on access to U.S.-origin items, including commodities and technology. This action will…

Readout of Secretary Esper’s Phone Call With New Zealand Minister for Defence Ron Mark

"Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper spoke today with the New Zealand Minister for Defence Ron Mark, the two leaders reaffirmed the strength of the U.S. –NZL relationship, highlighted respective global security contributions, and discussed the challenging geostrategic operating environment in the Indo-Pacific region. Secretary Esper and Minister Mark agreed to closely coordinate and synchronize on COVID-19 response efforts in the Pacific Island Countries and throughout the region in concert with other like-minded nations. Both leaders emphasized the importance of upholding international rules and norms…

Readout of Secretary of Defense Esper’s Phone Call With Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo

"Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper spoke today with Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo to reaffirm the strength of the U.S.-ROK alliance and the close coordination between the defense authorities of the two countries.

The two leaders discussed the security environment on the Korean Peninsula and committed to continue supporting diplomatic efforts to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Both sides also pledged to continue to…