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.

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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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Secretary Pompeo with Chris Stigall of The Chris Stigall Show - China and North Korea

"QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, I guess I’ll start obviously with – if you Google your name today, it’s all the Wuhan lab. It’s all the virus and China and whether Mike Pompeo in a combative – it’s always combative, a combative press exchange about whether or not the virus originated from a lab in Wuhan. So where are we officially on that today?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So it’s neither partisan, nor bullying, nor combative. We’re trying to get answers for the world. The Chinese Communist Party has…

Secretary Pompeo with Jack Heath of The Jack Heath Radio Show - China

"QUESTION: My two questions for you – and I want to get right to it because we’re a little bit late going into this – I’ve been talking regularly on my morning show on the stations we’re on – I’d like to know how many actual cases there were in China or are, how many deaths. I think it’s germane because it tells us what we’re dealing with. I don’t believe a thing we’ve been hearing out of China. I don’t believe that the state…

Secretary Pompeo with Steve Gruber of The Steve Gruber Show - China

"QUESTION: Good to have you, sir. The Chinese have made you quite a target here, as I was just sharing with the listeners. And you say it’s because, well, all roads lead back to that virology lab in Wuhan.

SECRETARY POMPEO: So, we know this for sure. We know now that there’s been enormous global economic destruction and the loss of more than a quarter million lives – 70,000 of them here in the United States. This is a catastrophe of real proportions that emanated…

Secretary Pompeo with Joe Kernen, Andrew Sorkin, and Rebecca Quick of CNBC’s Squawk Box - China

"QUESTION: Joining us now, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mr. Secretary, it’s great to have you on, especially today. And we’re going to get very quickly to some of your recent comments, but the lead story in the Journal, Mr. Secretary, the virus is widening the rift between the U.S. and China. And just for argument’s sake, I just want to go back to something you said recently, “Today we’re finally realizing the degree to which the Chinese Communist Party is truly hostile to the…

Secretary Esper's Remarks on China and COVID-19

Secretary Pompeo With Lou Dobbs of Lou Dobbs Tonight - China

"QUESTION: Joining us tonight, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mr. Secretary, great to have you with us. And the President today – moving straight to that issue – saying this is the worst attack – the pandemic that has struck this country and claimed so many lives is the worst attack in American history. Give us your thoughts.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Lou, thanks for having me on. It is undoubtedly the case that we’ve now had tens of thousands of lives lost here in the…

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo at a Press Availability - China and COVID-19

"Good morning, everyone. It’s been 128 days since Chinese doctor Ai Fen – the director of the Wuhan Central Hospital’s emergency unit – shared information on the internet about a patient with a SARS-like virus. Her colleague, Dr. Li Wenliang, shared Dr. Ai’s report online with medical colleagues.

The next day, December 31st, regional health officials in Wuhan indicated they were treating dozens of patients with an unknown viral pneumonia. And within days, Chinese officials detained Dr. Li and seven others for “spreading false statements…

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Vietnamese DPM/FM Pham Binh Minh

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke yesterday with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. Secretary Pompeo and DPM/FM Minh reaffirmed the strength of our Comprehensive Partnership as we celebrate a quarter century of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations in 2020. They also discussed our two countries’ extensive coordination in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary and the DPM/FM agreed on the importance of ensuring freedom of the seas and the unfettered pursuit of economic opportunity throughout the Indo-Pacific region. The Secretary reiterated…

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke with Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha yesterday to discuss the two countries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Secretary Pompeo thanked Foreign Minister Kang for the close cooperation and information sharing on COVID-19 and reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-ROK alliance, which continues to be the linchpin of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific and around the globe."

Remarks by President Trump on Protecting America’s Seniors - China and North Korea

"Q Mr. President, you had said that China is doing everything it can to make sure you don’t get reelected. What specifically are they doing?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, China doesn’t want to see me elected, and the reason is that we’re getting billions and billions of dollars — many billions of dollars a month from China. China never gave our country anything. China gave us nothing. Not 10 cents. And whether it was Biden in charge of China, which was a joke because he ripped…

Secretary Esper's Remarks on China's Conduct in the South China Sea During Program with The Brookings Institution

Secretary Pompeo's Remarks on China and COVID-19

President Trump's Virtual Town Hall with Fox News - China

"Martha MacCallum: (20:55)So let’s go to our next question for you all. From Phil Tulkoff, he’s the president of Tulkoff Food Products, which is a family company. Been in the business for over 90 years. They have four locations, South Carolina, Georgia, Oregon, and Tennessee. And here is Phil’s question.

Phil Tulkoff: (21:10)For my firm, the current tariffs add up to almost $60,000 in monthly additional costs for my operations. Lifting these tariffs would help us speed the recovery for many of us…

Secretary Pompeo With Martha Raddatz of ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos - North Korea and China

"QUESTION: Good morning, Mr. Secretary. There are reports this morning – I want to talk about North Korea first, before we get to China – that shots were fired from North Korea into a South Korean guard tower on the DMZ and that the South fired back after a warning. What can you tell us about that?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, Martha, thanks for having me on this morning. I’ve seen that reporting, too. I’ve seen some of our internal information as well. We can confirm…

Republic of the Marshall Islands National Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I extend our warm congratulations to the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands in celebration of your 41st Constitution Day.

Our two nations share a unique and deep-rooted friendship. I had the privilege of witnessing this bond and experiencing your hospitality during my visit to your country last August.

The United States is grateful to the Marshallese citizens serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Republic of the Marshall Islands remains a…

Secretary Pompeo With Buck Sexton of The Buck Sexton Show - China

"QUESTION: A lot going on right now. China obviously the big focus from the international relations standpoint. There’s a piece in The Washington Post that says, “China wasn’t wild about Pompeo before the virus. It’s really gunning for him now.” And then it seems to list a bunch of state media propaganda directed at you as if you’ve somehow upset them. Mr. Secretary, what have you done to get the ire of the Chinese Communist Party?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Buck, what we’ve tried to do, what…

Secretary Pompeo With Simon Conway of Newsradio 1040 - China

"QUESTION: Right. I’m very pleased that that’s the situation we’re looking at so far.

There’s also, though, the misinformation or disinformation. It’s coming from places like Iran. It’s coming from Russia. It’s coming from China. What are we doing about that and how dangerous is it?

SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s always very dangerous when countries think they can manipulate the information space with real fake news about what’s taking place. We respond. We always correct the record. We do our best to convince those countries that…

Secretary Pompeo With Dan “Ox” Ochsner of Ox in the Afternoons - China

"QUESTION: Amen to that. So that – well, you’ve led me into it, then. How do you balance your relations with the Chinese Government, which I assume we have to do as a world power, but when the American proletariat now is catching on that they’re all bad actors and they’ve been playing us all these years?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So look, as for the issue of the virus, we’ve been very clear to the Chinese Communist Party they have a special responsibility. This virus originated…

Secretary Pompeo With Scott Sands of The Scott Sands Show - China and North Korea

"QUESTION: What can you tell us about what the hell is happening in North Korea? Do we know anything officially about Kim Jong-un?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, we know we’ve not been able to identify a public appearance of his for now a little over two weeks – not unheard of, but unusual. But beyond that, I don’t have much that I can share with you today. We are continuing to monitor closely. We are working to make sure we’re prepared for whatever eventuality there is…

Secretary Pompeo With Shannon Bream of Fox News - China and North Korea

"QUESTION: All right, so let’s start there. China says stop running disinformation; they are the ones who are the victim of a disinformation campaign. We know the President has talked publicly about investigations he’d like to see underway by U.S. intel and others. How confident are you saying – in saying that this actually started in that lab in Wuhan, and what more will we know from these investigations?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, Shannon, here’s what we know for sure: This virus originated in Wuhan, China…

Secretary Pompeo At a Press Availability - China and North Korea

"Moving to a second category, our mission to protect human rights and freedom around the world.

I talked about this a little bit last week. We continue to monitor with growing concern Beijing’s increasing efforts to interfere with Hong Kong’s governance. The erosion of Hong Kong’s freedoms is inconsistent with the promises that the Chinese Communist Party itself made under One Country, Two Systems. Any effort to impose draconian national security legislation on Hong Kong would be inconsistent with Beijing’s promises, and would impact American…

Proclamation on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, 2020

"Throughout our Nation’s history, Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have made significant contributions to every aspect of our society, from business and politics to literature and the arts. Their accomplishments have enriched our Nation and stand as a testament to the power of the American Dream. During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we celebrate the indelible mark these individuals have left on our culture and pay tribute to the myriad ways in which they continue to strengthen our Nation.

One story…

Secretary Pompeo With Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends - China and North Korea

"QUESTION: They’re telling us to mind our own business; that’s what China is telling us. Let’s bring in Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State. Good morning to you.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Ainsley, it’s great to be with you this morning.

QUESTION: Can you believe that? They’re telling us to mind our own business, that we’re lying through our teeth. Meanwhile we have almost 60,000 people dead, so many people out of work, and they’re telling us to mind our own business. How are we going to –…

President Trump Meeting with Governor of Louisiana - China

Remarks by President Trump During the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing - North Korea

"Q Mr. President, you, a couple days ago, said that you might reach out to Kim Jong Un directly, but also that you were working to find out if those reports about him being in possible medical trouble were true. I’m wondering if you’ve either —

THE PRESIDENT: I hope he’s not in medical trouble.

Q Well —

THE PRESIDENT: I hope he’s —

Q — have you heard anything from North Korea or —

THE PRESIDENT: I’ve gotten along very well with him. And…

Remarks by President Trump During the April 27, 2020 Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing - China and North Korea

"Q Mr. President, Charlie Spiering from Breitbart News. And a majority of polls show that Americans blame China for the spread of the coronavirus, and yet they’re taking advantage of the crisis to make the world more dependent on their supply chains. How do you get — how do you hold China accountable and how do you keep our country — how do you incentivize our businesses?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Charlie, there are a lot of ways you can hold them accountable. We’re doing very…

Joint Statement From the Co-Chairs of the Special ASEAN-United States Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

"The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Lao PDR as the co-Chairs of the Special ASEAN-United States Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) conducted via video conference on April 22/23, 2020.

Begin Text:

  • We, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and the United States Secretary of State held the Special ASEAN- United States Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) via video conference on 23 April 2020 (22 April 2020 Washington, D.C. time)…
  • Readout of Secretary Esper’s Phone Call With Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono

    "On April 24, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper spoke with Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono by phone to discuss bilateral coordination on the response to COVID-19, regional security issues and threats to a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region, and continued cooperation to implement U.S. forces realignment initiatives."

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

    "QUESTION:

    Let’s begin with China. So China is in large part responsible for the spread of this virus. They knew there was human-to-human transmission weeks before they informed the rest of the world of this. Five million citizens left Wuhan province while apparently they knew that this thing was spreading. What sort of measures should the United States be looking to take in the future to either seek recompense from the Chinese Government or to protect ourselves from future situations like this?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Ben…

    Secretary Pompeo With Tony Perkins of Washington Watch - China

    "QUESTION: Yeah. Well, that was actually on my list to get to was what I call the triangle of tyranny. You got China, you got Iran, but you also have Russia putting out the same message there. I don’t know if they’ve all gotten together or they’re just copying each other in the messaging, which is – it’s kind of – I know it just doesn’t add up. This breaks out in China in November. They’re in lockdown. It makes it way to the United…

    Secretary Pompeo With David Brody of Faith Nation with David Brody, CBN - China

    "QUESTION: Hanging in there. I know you are too, and there’s a lot to talk about. I want to get to, obviously, China and the coronavirus. You made it clear that China has some explaining to do on this. I know you said that you don’t know if the virus started in a lab in China, and maybe not the wet market in Wuhan, but either way, do you believe the Chinese Communist Party is lying to the world right now?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: David, it’s…

    Secretary Pompeo at a Press Availability - China and North Korea

    "Turning to the World Health Organization, I want to spend a few minutes telling the American people a little bit more about the problems that we’re trying to work our way through.

    The WHO has two primary functions. First, it’s a regulator and an advisory role, and a health emergency and humanitarian aid operation on top of that.

    After the first SARS outbreak in 2003, the United States led the reform of the WHO, the WHO rules that govern how countries report on public health…

    Anzac Day

    "On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I am honored to send our best wishes to the people of Australia and New Zealand on Anzac Day this April 25.

    Today we stand together to honor the memory of the courageous heroes of Gallipoli. We also acknowledge the brave Australian and New Zealand personnel, past and present, who have sacrificed and served to secure peace in the years since that historic battle.

    We face a different challenge this year, and we commend…

    Secretary Pompeo With Larry O’Connor of the Larry O’Connor Show - China

    "QUESTION: We’re speaking with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. You mentioned Wuhan. Let’s talk about that for a moment. Can you confirm this report that there was a scientific diplomatic investigation of a laboratory there that raised some red flags about their protocols and concerns up to two years ago?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: So I can’t say much other than this: We are constantly trying to evaluate all across the world, including in China, when countries have high-level facilities where they’re doing virus research or pathogen…

    Secretary Pompeo With Sean Hannity of Fox News - China and North Korea

    "QUESTION: Here’s our Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who joins us. Mr. Secretary, I’ve seen a lot. I wrote a book, Deliver Us from Evil, in 2004. It talked about over a hundred million people killed in the last century alone. And I look at this – when they stopped travel from Wuhan to the rest of China, from China to Wuhan, but they left it open internationally, then they scooped up all of the protective gear and now profiteering, and then they kept the…

    Secretary Pompeo With Laura Ingraham of Fox News - China and North Korea

    "QUESTION: Joining me now exclusively is our Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mr. Secretary, thank you for being here tonight. Earlier this week, I said that the global community should demand that Tedros and his cronies resign in order to just get this behind everyone. What’s the state of play regarding our relationship right at this moment with the WHO?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, Laura, thanks for having me on. First of all, as you said, the President has stopped all U.S. taxpayer funding for the…

    The United States and ASEAN are Partnering to Defeat COVID-19, Build Long-Term Resilience, and Support Economic Recovery

    "Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are enduring strategic partners as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for economic recovery. We commit to continue our collaboration with ASEAN to beat this pandemic and get back to the business of building a bright future for the region together.

    We thank our ASEAN partners for their valuable support in promoting the continued flow of vital medical supplies into the United States, as well as their support for our repatriation flights. For example…

    Remarks by President Trump During the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing - China and North Korea

    "Q Last thing from me: North Korea. What do you — what can you tell us about the status of Kim Jong Un?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, these are reports that came out, and we don’t know. We don’t know. I’ve had a very good relationship with him. I wouldn’t — you know, I can only say this: I wish him well. Because if he is in the kind of condition that the reports say, that the news is saying, that would be a — that’s…

    Anniversary of the Easter Sunday Attacks in Sri Lanka

    "Today we mark the anniversary of the terrorist bombings that shattered the peace of Sri Lanka and the world on Easter morning one year ago. These malicious attacks targeted churches and hotels, places where people had gone to worship and to enjoy time together on a holiday. We remember the more than 250 victims of these ISIS-inspired attacks, including five U.S. citizens, and extend our deepest condolences to their families and friends. We stand in solidarity with the survivors of this brutality, and pray for…

    Remarks by President Trump at the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing - China

    "And these supply chains, they sound wonderful, but if one country has a problem, the whole chain is ruined. And I’ve been saying it for a long time. I ran partially on that. I ran partially on that. I ran on that, and I ran very strongly against China. And then we made a great trade deal where they buy $250 billion. They’re supposed to. And they’re paying tariffs. They paid us tens of billions of dollars. I’ve given $12 billion one year, $16 billion…

    Remarks by President Trump at the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing - South Korea

    "Q Yes. Another — a different question about South Korea. There are reports that you are personally negotiating with President Moon the terms of reduction of U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula, and that there are four scenarios involved. Can you confirm that? And, if so, what is your desired outcome?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that South Korea — I had a great talk with President Moon. He’s a friend of mine. I congratulated — he had a wonderful election victory. I was very…

    Recent Arrests of Pro-Democracy Activists in Hong Kong

    "The United States condemns the arrest of pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong. Beijing and its representatives in Hong Kong continue to take actions inconsistent with commitments made under the Sino-British Joint Declaration that include transparency, the rule of law, and guarantees that Hong Kong will continue to “enjoy a high degree of autonomy.”"