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.

Methodology

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.

I…

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 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…

Designation of PRC Foreign Nationals and Entities under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act

"The Department of State joins the Department of the Treasury in announcing the designation of four People’s Republic of China foreign nationals – Ji Songyan, Zhan Longbao, Cheng Guifeng, ​and Zheng Guangfu – and one​ Chinese entity – , and Global United Biotechnology Inc. – for their support to and involvement in the international drug trafficking operations of Chinese synthetic opioid traffickers Zheng Fujing and Yan Xiaobing and the Zheng Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO). These designations are made pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation…

Secretary Pompeo's Remarks on China

"And that perhaps starts with the Chinese Communist Party. No administration has broken glass on the threat of our times like we have.

For a long time, foreign policy thinkers – truly, the elites on the East Coast – for a long time, foreign policy thinkers thought that the more we traded with China, the more free that nation would become and the less risk they would be to the American people.

But that’s not what’s happening today.

Today, the Chinese Communist Party is crushing…

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Bill Hemmer of Fox News - China and North Korea

"QUESTION: Thank you for expressing that here. Let’s go to it now, okay? China. You said yesterday that the world would hold China accountable. How?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So I can see it happening already. I can see nations who were doing business in China who are rethinking about how to do that. If you’re buying products that are the result of the slave labor that’s happening in the western part of China, if you’re a country that’s bent the knee to China because they tried…

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

"QUESTION: All right, let’s get to some very serious stuff regarding China. Of course, we saw the President yesterday in the Rose Garden talking about our tougher approach. Why are we getting tough with China right now?

SECRETARY POMPEO: For now 40 years, Simon, the American people have been fed a bill of goods that if we simply engage with China, that they would leave us alone and behave in a way that was consistent with how other large nations behaved. That hasn’t happened. We…

On the President’s Announcement on Hong Kong

"Over the past two weeks, the world has watched as the Chinese Communist Party smothers Hong Kong’s freedom. In 1984, China promised the United Kingdom and the Hong Kong people in front of the world that it would keep Hong Kong free and open and maintain its high degree of autonomy until the year 2047. With the draconian national security legislation that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong, which allows mainland China’s security services to operate with impunity in Hong Kong, China has broken that promise…

Secretary Pompeo With Bob Cusack, Editor-in-Chief of The Hill - China and North Korea

"QUESTION: Thanks, Jimmy and Steve, and thank you, Mr. Secretary, for joining us. I want to jump into the news. Just recently, Mr. Secretary, you said that the U.S. may ban TikTok and other Chinese apps. Is there going to be a decision on that this summer?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, Bob, thanks. First of all, thanks for having me on here as well. Jimmy, thanks for that very, very generous introduction. Yeah, I made a comment about TikTok. We’ve got to go back to first…

Secretary Pompeo at a Press Availability -

"SECRETARY POMPEO: [...] Yesterday President Trump signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act and announced a series of actions through a presidential executive order.

As he said in May, if China treats Hong Kong as one country and a single system, so must we.

General Secretary Xi Jinping made a choice to violate the Chinese Communist Party’s promises to Hong Kong in – that were made in a UN-registered treaty. He didn’t have to do that; he made that choice.

We have to deal with China…

Remarks by President Trump in Press Conference - China

"Today, I signed legislation and an executive order to hold China accountable for its oppressive actions against the people of Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which I signed this afternoon, passed unanimously through Congress. This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom. We’ve all watched what happened. Not a good situation. Their freedom has been taken away. Their rights have been taken away. And with it, goes Hong Kong…

Welcoming the United Kingdom Decision To Prohibit Huawei From 5G Networks

"We welcome news that the United Kingdom plans to ban Huawei from future 5G networks and phase out untrusted Huawei equipment from existing networks. With this decision, the UK joins a growing list of countries from around the world that are standing up for their national security by prohibiting the use of untrusted, high-risk vendors. We will continue to work with our British friends on fostering a secure and vibrant 5G ecosystem, which is critical to Transatlantic security and prosperity.

The momentum in favor of…

On the Pan-Democratic Primary Election in Hong Kong

"I warmly congratulate Hong Kong’s pan-democrats for their successful primary election. More than 600,000 Hong Kongers cast ballots in the first territory-wide, pan-democratic primary election. Their enthusiasm clearly demonstrates their desire to make their voices heard in the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to suffocate the territory’s freedoms.

We note with grave concern Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s threat that this primary may have violated Beijing’s new “national security” law for the territory, once again demonstrating the Chinese Communist Party’s fear of…

Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate - China's Actions Towards Hong Kong

"Dear Madam Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) and the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), I hereby report I have issued an Executive Order (the “order”) that declares a national emergency with respect to the recent actions taken by the People’s Republic of China to fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy. The order further declares that Hong Kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous to justify differential treatment in relation to the…

Statement by the President - Hong Kong Autonomy Act

"Today, I have signed into law H.R. 7440, the “Hong Kong Autonomy Act” (the “Act”). The Act addresses China’s failure to meet certain obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. I note, however, that the requirements for a waiver or termination of sanctions under section 8 of the Act could limit my discretion under Article II of the Constitution to conduct the Nation’s foreign affairs. In such circumstances, my Administration will treat these limitations as advisory and non-binding. In addition, my Administration will treat the requirement…

The President’s Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization

"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-393), the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 (Public Law 116-76), the Hong Kong Autonomy Act of 2020, signed into law July 14, 2020, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), section 212(f) of the Immigration…

U.S. Position on Maritime Claims in the South China Sea

"The United States champions a free and open Indo-Pacific. Today we are strengthening U.S. policy in a vital, contentious part of that region — the South China Sea. We are making clear: Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them.

In the South China Sea, we seek to preserve peace and stability, uphold freedom of the seas in a manner consistent with international law, maintain the unimpeded flow of…

2020 Singapore General Election

"The United States congratulates the people of Singapore on the country’s 13th general election on July 10 and congratulates Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong and the People’s Action Party on their victory.

The United States and Singapore have enjoyed more than 50 years of valuable partnership since we established diplomatic relations in 1966. Our friendship is deeply rooted in our shared values and a common desire for peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region. We look forward to working with the newly elected…

Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between the United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

"July 11 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Over the last quarter century, our two countries have built a partnership and friendship founded on shared interests, mutual respect, and people-to-people ties. Our everyday interactions are highlighted by increasing trade and investment ties, strategic cooperation, and collaboration on humanitarian and legacy of war issues, including the solemn duty of accounting for our wartime missing. In recent years, we have strengthened and…

Kiribati National Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States, I congratulate the people of Kiribati as you celebrate your National Day on July 12.

The hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic have proven a challenge for us all. As we adapt to a changed world and shape its future for the better, we look forward to working with partners such as Kiribati that have long shared our core values of democracy, human rights, and respect for all. Our 1983 Treaty of Friendship, which dates to the…

Secretary Michael Pompeo At a Press Briefing on Current U.S. Foreign Policy - Indo-Pacific

"SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. Look, I’ll be very brief because I want to take as many questions as I can. Thank you all for joining me on the call today. I know there’s – be a wide range of questions that will span the entire security situation all across the globe. I thought I’d highlight just a couple things.

First, the challenge that is presented to the people of Hong Kong who have been denied the central commitments that the Chinese Communist Party had made…

The United States Imposes Sanctions and Visa Restrictions in Response to the Ongoing Human Rights Violations and Abuses in Xinjiang

"The United States will not stand idly by as the CCP carries out human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang, to include forced labor, arbitrary mass detention, and forced population control, and attempts to erase their culture and Muslim faith.

I am designating three senior CCP officials under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2020 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, for their involvement in gross violations of human rights: Chen Quanguo, the Party…

Mongolia National Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I extend my best wishes to the people of Mongolia on the opening of the Naadam festival on July 11.

As strategic partners and Third Neighbors, the United States and Mongolia enjoy a strong partnership bound by common interests, shared democratic values, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

On this occasion for celebration, I wish the people of Mongolia a wonderful Naadam."

Five Years of Injustice Following China’s 709 Crackdown

"On July 9, five years ago the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a nationwide offensive targeting hundreds of defense lawyers and human rights defenders for detention, interrogation, and politically motivated criminal charges. The “709” crackdown, named for the date it began on July 9, 2015, was designed to intimidate a generation of lawyers and activists from representing or assisting anyone the CCP perceives as a threat to its absolute power. It showed the world what it means to govern via “rule by law,” rather than…

Secretary Pompeo at a Press Availability - China

"SECRETARY POMPEO: [...] I want to start today with the Chinese Communist Party.

As with all unelected, communist regimes, Beijing fears its own people’s free thinking more than any foreign foe.

We were deeply troubled to learn this week that the CCP detained Xu Zhangrun for criticizing General Secretary Xi Jinping’s repressive regime and the CCP’s mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He should be released. He was simply telling the truth. He should be released as soon as possible.

I’ll repeat a theme I’ve been…

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…