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…

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Secretary Pompeo's Remarks on Religious Faith

"Today, sadly, millions and millions of people still live under regimes that want to banish faith from the public square, or any of notion of God from basic civic life.

Today, perhaps the most egregious example is the Chinese Communist Party. Today in the western part of China, a place that none of us might know, a place called Xinjiang, more than a million Chinese have been forced into internment camps, being surveilled 24/7, forced sterilizations, forced abortions, today, in the world in which we…

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

QUESTION: Yeah. I mean, where is Europe in this? Similar situation as it relates to China. You’ve got 30 countries pushing back on Huawei and we’re still waiting on any resolution in Europe. Same with Iran. Can you talk about that a bit and just give me the practical changes that we’ll see as a result of this snapback in sanctions on Iran?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So the second question as a practical thing, there’ll be a whole lot more things that would have taken place…

Secretary Ross' Statement on Delayed Prohibitions Related to TikTok

"In light of recent positive developments, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, at the direction of President Trump, will delay the prohibition of identified transactions pursuant to Executive Order 13942, related to the TikTok mobile application that would have been effective on Sunday, September 20, 2020, until September 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m."

Secretary Pompeo With Leeron Brummel of National Communications Network - China

"QUESTION: Ah, 400 (inaudible). Interesting. Part of that, as you said, is helping the interests of the U.S. Government and the Guyana Government in terms of what opportunities we have looking at Guyana’s emerging energy sector as well. Have discussions been held with the private sector agencies or stakeholders, and how are we looking – how do we intend to have a discussion on accessing markets?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah. So I talk to American private sector leaders all the time. I consider it part of…

Nepali Constitution Day

"On behalf of the American people and the United States Government, I extend best wishes to the people of Nepal as you celebrate your Constitution Day on September 19.

For over seven decades, the United States and Nepal have enjoyed friendship and close ties between our peoples, and we are committed to supporting Nepal’s path toward a stable, prosperous, and sovereign future. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Nepal and working together on economic recovery, disaster preparedness, and sustainable development, even as we…

Commerce Department Prohibits WeChat and TikTok Transactions to Protect the National Security of the United States

"In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S. Today’s announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing…

Secretary Pompeo And Suriname President Chandrikapersad “Chan” Santokhi At a Press Availability - China

"QUESTION: That’s a good idea. Mr. President, thank you. I wanted to ask you if you think that there is a competition between the United States and China here in Suriname and more broadly in the region. Did Secretary Pompeo make a convincing case to choose American companies as you go forward with your economic development, and do you feel that there is a choice that you have to make between the two countries, the United States and China? Thanks very much.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Mr…

Secretary Esper's Speech at RAND - China

"Today, in this era of great power competition, the Department of Defense has prioritized China then Russia, as our top strategic competitors. These revisionist powers are using predatory economics, political subversion, and military force in an attempt to shift the balance of power in their favor, and often at the expense of others.

China for example is exerting its malign influence through its “One-Belt, One-Road” Initiative. This campaign has left weaker nations with crushing debt, forcing them to take their economic relief at the expense…

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

"We also discussed the challenges presented to the world by the Chinese Communist Party, and the challenges that that same party presents to the people of China.

We’re all overcoming the virus that the CCP allowed out of Wuhan. But while we’re all recovering, the party’s aggression abroad and abuses at home have gotten even worse.

We appreciate the steps that the British Government has taken to face the China challenge in recent months. That includes remarkable work speaking up for the people of Hong…

On Yoshihide Suga’s Election as Prime Minister of Japan

"I congratulate Yoshihide Suga on his election by the Diet as the next Prime Minister of Japan. The U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in a free and open Indo-Pacific and is central to upholding a rules-based international order. The United States looks forward to working with Prime Minister Suga in promoting the Alliance as a force for transparency, accountability, openness, prosperity, and peace in the Indo-Pacific and around the world. Congratulations, as well, to Toshimitsu Motegi on continuing in his…

President Trump's Remarks at September 16, 2020 Press Briefing - China

"Q Thank you, Mr. President. Are you prepared to sign off on the Oracle and TikTok deal, even though the Treasury isn’t getting paid? And also, does the deal meet your requirements in terms of national security concerns?

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, they’re giving me studies on the deal. It has to be 100 percent as far as national security is concerned. And, no, I’m not prepared to sign off on anything. I have to see the deal.

We need security, especially after what we’ve seen…

Secretary Pompeo With Lea Salame of France Inter - China

"QUESTION: You started a tough policy – you started a tough policy on China. You banned imports of cotton from Xinjiang where Uyghur people are put in camps. Could you take further steps? And are you expecting similar moves from Europeans?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We hope every nation in the world will come to recognize what is the – perhaps the greatest stain on human rights of this century, what’s taking place in Western China. And so the United States has always stood for human rights.

President Trump's Remarks on China During September 15, 2020 ABC Town Hall

"STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to ask you about…

TRUMP: …China was heavily infected. And nobody, by the way, I read where other people said do it. No people that I saw said do it. And I know they said security advisors and others. I put a ban on when it wasn’t at all popular.

Joe Biden said I was xenophobic because I put the ban on, and I thought that was a very unfair -- and by the way he’s totally taken that back. But I’m…

Secretary Pompeo's Remarks at the Atlantic Council's "Atlantic Council Front Page" Event - China

Ambassador Lighthizer's Remarks on WTO Panel Ruling Concerning US Actions Against China

"Washington, DC – U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer today criticized a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel report that stated that actions taken by the U.S. to combat China’s widespread and damaging theft of American technology and intellectual property were inconsistent with WTO rules.

“This panel report confirms what the Trump Administration has been saying for four years: The WTO is completely inadequate to stop China’s harmful technology practices,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “Although the panel did not dispute the extensive evidence submitted by the…

The United States Sanctions Chinese State-Owned Entity for its Role in Corruption in Cambodia

"China is the world’s largest emitter of environmental pollution including of greenhouse gases and the exploitation of natural resources around the globe. Today, the United States again took action by imposing sanctions on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-owned Union Development Group, Ltd. (UDG) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, for its role in corrupt activities in Cambodia.

Today’s action demonstrates how the Chinese Communist Party coopts companies to expand its influence, including…

Papua New Guinea Independence Day

"On behalf of the United States Government and the American people, I extend congratulations to the people of Papua New Guinea as you raise your flag at Independence Hill on the 45th anniversary of your independence.

This is a day to celebrate your rich history, and I am proud to greet you on this important occasion in recognition of our close partnership, mutual respect, and common values. Even as both our nations confront COVID-19 in this region and worldwide, I look forward to deepening our…

CBP’s Continued Enforcement Actions To Combat Forced Labor in China

"The Trump Administration has led the world in calling attention to the Chinese Communist Party’s egregious human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and we’ve taken action to back up our rhetoric. Today, we continue this record as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued five new Withhold Release Orders (WRO) for certain goods produced in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

WROs prevent goods from being imported into the United States when made with forced labor. Upon issuing these WROs, CBP will detain shipments of…

The Mekong-U.S. Partnership: The Mekong Region Deserves Good Partners

"The launch of the Mekong-U.S. Partnership reflects the importance of the Mekong region to the United States. Our relationship with Mekong partner countries is an integral part of our Indo-Pacific vision and our strategic partnership with ASEAN. With more than $150 million in initial investments in regional programs, we will build on the good work of the Lower Mekong Initiative and the $3.5 billion in regional U.S. assistance during the last eleven years.

The Mekong-U.S. Partnership is committed to the autonomy, economic independence, good governance…

The United States Expresses Concern Over Hong Kong Democracy Activists Held in Guangdong Province

"The United States is deeply concerned that twelve Hong Kong democracy activists, arrested two weeks ago off the coast of Hong Kong by Guangdong Maritime Police, have been denied access to lawyers of their choice. Local authorities have yet to provide information regarding their welfare, or the charges against them. We question Chief Executive Lam’s stated commitment to protecting the rights of Hong Kong residents, and call on authorities to ensure due process."

The Enduring U.S. Commitment to ASEAN

"America has long been a friend to ASEAN countries. At the ASEAN-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ meeting recently, I reaffirmed U.S. support for ASEAN’s role at the heart of the Indo-Pacific.

The ASEAN Outlook for the Indo-Pacific and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy share a respect for sovereignty, the rule of law, transparency, openness, and inclusivity. These shared principles form the core of our work with ASEAN and are the basis for this week’s launch of the Mekong-U.S. Partnership. We reiterate U.S. support for ASEAN as it speaks…

Secretary Pompeo With Shannon Bream of Fox News @ Night - North Korea

"QUESTION: Okay, Bob Woodward has a new book coming out. He has hours of tapes —

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, so I heard.

QUESTION: — of conversations with the President. There are allegations that are not directly attributed to what the President said in their taped conversations. There are other things. But in particular, in talking about North Korea and Kim Jong-un, it says, “Trump remarked that he was awestruck” meeting Kim for the first time in 2018 in Singapore, thinking to himself, “holy [blank]” and…

Remarks by Secretary Ross at the Department of Commerce's Investment Advisory Council [IAC] - China

"China in particular has become a bully in its neighborhood. It is destroying the freedoms of millions of people living in Hong Kong; engages in large-scale ethnic cleansing; is arresting journalists; spies on its students overseas; and continues to scrub the Internet, and not allow our best technology companies to operate there. It is attempting to steal our most import vaccine research.

And, worst of all, China concealed the true nature of a deadly novel virus, allowing tens of thousands of people to fly out…

Secretary Esper's Remarks at the Artificial Intelligence Symposium - China

Secretary Pompeo’s Participation in 2020 ASEAN-United States Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo joined the annual ASEAN-United States Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with his counterparts from the 10 ASEAN member states via videoconference on September 9.

Secretary Pompeo and his ASEAN counterparts highlighted the breadth and depth of U.S. engagement and commitment to the ASEAN region. They discussed ASEAN and U.S. cooperation on regional political, security, economic, and cultural issues. The Secretary reiterated U.S. support for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and its role in guiding U.S. engagement with ASEAN. He further…

Secretary Pompeo’s Participation in the 10th East Asia Summit Virtual Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo joined counterparts from 17 countries for the 10th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting this morning. Secretary Pompeo highlighted U.S. support for principles of openness, inclusiveness, transparency, and respect for international law. These principles are shared across our Indo-Pacific vision, ASEAN’s Outlook on the Indo Pacific, and the visions of many other EAS member states.

The Secretary praised ASEAN unity and transparency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and outlined U.S. efforts to leverage all available resources to develop…

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

"QUESTION: I’m speaking with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. So I know we’re kind of jumping around the globe here. What is the administration’s view on China policy these days? Obviously, the United States has taken a very negative view of how China has been expanding its authority. We’re seeing U.S. companies continue to stick with the Chinese Government. Are there going to be restrictions on what U.S. companies can do in China coming sometime in the near future given the fact that you can…

Secretary Pompeo's Criticism of China's Media and Propaganda

"Today, the Chinese Communist Party’s main propaganda newspaper, the People’s Daily, refused to run an Op-ed written by our Ambassador in Beijing, Terry Branstad, citing a litany of grievances. Ironically, the Op-ed called for more positive relations between our two countries and asked to “build relationships through unrestricted engagement and uncensored discussion.” The People’s Daily’s response once again exposes the Chinese Communist Party’s fear of free speech and serious intellectual debate – as well as Beijing’s hypocrisy when it complains about lack of fair and…

Remarks by President Trump in September 7, 2020 Press Conference - China

"Biden wants to surrender our country to the virus, he wants to surrender our families to the violent left-wing mob, and he wants to surrender our jobs to China — our jobs and our economic wellbeing. I’ve taken in billions and billions of dollars from China. No other President has done what I’ve done. I’ve given much of it to the farmers. I’ve given it to farmers and manufacturers, but I’ve given most of it to the U.S. Treasury. Nobody has done that. We haven’t…

Vice President Pence Visits Wisconsin - China

Secretary Pompeo With Hugh Hewitt of The Hugh Hewitt Show - China

"QUESTION: Now, Mr. Secretary, the last time I saw you was at the Nixon Library talking about China, and it was a historic speech, but – and with – it had fallen about 10 days, the China-Iran deal, and we didn’t talk about that because we didn’t quite yet know it. I’d like to ask you: How ominous is that partnership? And contrast it with the United Aram Emirates-Israeli deal that was put together by you and the President and the entire team, Jared, et…

Remarks by President Trump in Press Briefing - India

"Q During the conventions, Kimberly and Don Jr. had the outreach — the Indian American community — with a video called “Four More Years” for you, which has gone viral among the Indian Americans in the battleground states.

So my question is: Would Kimberly, Don Jr., and Ivanka Trump, who are very popular among Indian Americans — would be campaigning on your behalf around the Indian Americans with your views on the India and U.S. relationship?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I — I didn’t understand everything…

Secretary Pompeo With Steve Doocy, Jedediah Bila, and Pete Hegseth of Fox & Friends - China

"QUESTION: Secretary, another topic we’re looking at this morning is China. The President, as we know, is on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania, and while there he talked about China as it relates to COVID-19 and also talked about what a Biden administration would mean with respect to our relationship with China. Let’s take a listen to what he said, and then we’ll get your reaction:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Never has anybody ripped off our nation like China. We never took in 10 cents from China…

Secretary of Defense Remarks for the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the End of World War II

"Today, in the face of new challenges to this free and open order, we are working to build an even broader coalition of partners – one that includes both longtime friends and former adversaries – to protect the hard-fought gains of generations past and present…especially in the Pacific. We share an important goal – defending the sacred principles that benefit us all: democracy, liberty, sovereignty, human rights, mutual respect, and the rule of law.

To do so, we continue to forge new partnerships and…

Advancing Reciprocity in U.S.- China Diplomatic Relations

"For years, the PRC has imposed significant barriers on American diplomats working in the PRC that are far beyond diplomatic norms. PRC authorities implement a system of opaque approval processes designed to prevent American diplomats from conducting regular business and connecting with the Chinese people. U.S. diplomats’ attempts to host cultural events, secure official meetings, and visit university campuses are regularly obstructed.

In the United States, by contrast, PRC diplomats have enjoyed open access to American society, while ignoring sustained U.S. entreaties to improve the…

Secretary Pompeo With Trey Gowdy of The Sean Hannity Show - China

"QUESTION: Likewise. Tell us about the actions you’ve taken against China with respect to their diplomats and why you took it.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Trey, today we took the simple action of telling Chinese diplomats working here in the United States the free ride is over, their ability to conduct espionage here in the United States has – that time has passed, and so we’ve put restrictions on them. They need to ask permission now to conduct meetings with local officials and to gather at certain…

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo at a Press Availability

"On the multilateral front further, I look forward to seeing my ASEAN and Indo-Pacific counterparts next week at a host of virtual meetings.

We’ll have discussions that will be wide-ranging, including on COVID, North Korea, South China Sea, Hong Kong, and Burma’s Rakhine State.

I’ll also raise how the Trump administration is restoring reciprocity to the U.S.-China relationship. And today we continue that necessary work.

For years, the Chinese Communist Party has imposed significant barriers on American diplomats working inside the PRC.

Specifically, the Chinese…

Vietnam National Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I send congratulations to the people of Vietnam as you celebrate your National Day.

In 2020, we commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations. The remarkable transformation of our relationship, across trade and investment, security cooperation, and people-to-people ties, is a testament to those who worked to overcome the past and build a better future for both our peoples. We celebrate the recently signed agreement that will bring Peace Corps…

On the Passing of Former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee

"The United States is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. In a distinguished career spanning more than half a century, President Mukherjee worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of India as a parliamentarian, cabinet minister, and as President of the world’s largest democracy. His visionary leadership helped drive India’s rise as a global power and paved the way for a stronger U.S.-India partnership.

President Mukherjee’s many accomplishments resulted in a more prosperous and secure India. As Minister…

Secretary Pompeo With Lou Dobbs of Lou Dobbs Tonight - China

"QUESTION: Joining us tonight to talk about all of this and much more, the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mr. Secretary, good to have you with us. Let’s begin with the rhetoric of the Chinese Government, and it is moving up quite a – to quite heated extremes now. Your interpretation of what’s going on in Beijing.

SECRETARY POMPEO: So, Lou, thanks for having me on. That was quite a list you read there with respect to the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression. I…

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Motegi discussed coordination on shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific region, including upholding the region’s rules-based order. The Secretary and the Foreign Minister reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Japan Alliance and our shared commitment to ensuring peace and security in the region and the world."

Secretary Pompeo With Vince Coglianese and Mary Walter of WMAL’s Mornings On The Mall Radio Show - China

"QUESTION: So Bloomberg just ran a report that the U.S. is pushing China and Iran closer together, and that under the pressure the two are said to be contemplating a 25-year strategic partnership. How does this change the landscape in the world?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, China has important interests, and it is – it probably should come as no surprise to anyone that two of the world’s greatest violators of basic human rights might find common cause. So we, when watching this unfold as well…

Readout of Secretary Esper's Phone Call With President Gotabaya Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka

"Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the phone today. During the call, Secretary Esper congratulated the President on his successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent conclusion of parliamentary elections, and urged continued progress on reconciliation and human rights in Sri Lanka. The two leaders discussed their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that ensures the sovereignty of all nations. Reviewing common bilateral defense priorities, they noted opportunities to enhance military professionalization…

Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Virtual Meeting With the Singapore Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen

"On August 30, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper met virtually with his Singapore counterpart, Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen to discuss the U.S.-Singapore bilateral defense relationship. Secretary Esper expressed solidarity with Singapore's efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak and applauded Singapore's success in its pandemic response. Secretary Esper expressed appreciation for the regional access that Singapore provides U.S. forces, and its commitment to continued access made possible by renewal of the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding Regarding United States Use of Facilities in Singapore…

On the Resignation of Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe

"The United States deeply values the enduring contributions of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in making the U.S.-Japan relationship the strongest it has ever been. He championed our Alliance as a cornerstone of peace and security, and he advanced a free and open Indo-Pacific by working with the United States to build a network of partnerships across the region. We thank him for his many years of dedicated service and wish him a speedy and complete recovery."

Readout of Secretary Esper's Meeting With Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono

"On August 29, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper hosted Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono in Guam, where they reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Japan Alliance and discussed ways to deepen and expand bilateral defense cooperation.

Secretary Esper and Minister Kono exchanged views on their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The Secretary expressed serious concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose a national security law in Hong Kong, as well as coercive and destabilizing actions vis-à-vis Taiwan. Both Ministers restated their commitment…

Malaysia Independence Day

"On behalf of the United States Government and the American people, I congratulate the people of Malaysia as you celebrate your Independence Day.

The strong partnership between the United States and Malaysia allows us to better face new challenges and pursue new opportunities for our citizens. Building on our robust economic, security, and people-to-people ties, we continue to make progress on our shared goal of promoting a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific. We look forward to another year of advancement in the relations between our two…