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.

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Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar by telephone today regarding coordination of efforts to respond to COVID-19. The Secretary highlighted the importance of continued close cooperation between the United States, India, and other close partners and allies to combat this international crisis, including strengthening global pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturing and supply chains. He also reiterated the United States’ unwavering commitment to work with India to advance peace, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific and around the…

Secretary Esper's Phone Call With Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto

"Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke with his Indonesian counterpart, Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto, on the phone today to discuss COVID-19. Both leaders offered sympathies to those affected by COVID-19 in the United States and in Indonesia. Secretary Esper thanked Minister Prabowo and his government for their leadership in responding to COVID-19 and asked how else the United States might help. Minister Prabowo conveyed his government's gratitude to the United States for its first tranche of support to Indonesia, including $2.3 million…

Secretary Pompeo With Sean Hannity of The Sean Hannity Show - China and the Coronavirus

"QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, we’ve got to deal with this issue of China. Are you confident now? They have valuable intel and information that could help the world after they hid this, when you said the last time on this show, you would have gladly sent our experts over to help them.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Sean, President Trump and I have been committed to making sure that we had the best data available. When you hear Doctors Fauci and Birx talk about risk, talk about fatalities, trying…

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

"Q You spoke to Chinese President Xi yesterday. What did he tell you, in terms of data, that he’s going to share —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q — and how they got the number of cases to go down?

THE PRESIDENT: So I had a great conversation with the President of China last night, pretty late in the night. It was fascinating to me. You know, they have a whole — it’s a different kind of a world. It’s a different form of government, to…

Secretary Pompeo With Hugh Hewitt of The Hugh Hewitt Show - Coronavirus Around the Indo-Pacific

"QUESTION: Neither can I. Let me move to China. Can you confirm the report that the G7 disagrees with you over your belief we ought to call this the Wuhan virus?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So different countries take different approaches. I will say this: I was actually pleased yesterday. The EU countries that are part of the G7 made very clear, as did my Japanese counterpart, that the Chinese disinformation campaign that the Chinese are actively engaged in even as we speak, trying to defer blame…

Remarks by President Trump on China and Asian Americans

“Q (Laughs.) Mr. President, on Monday, did you speak with Chinese President Xi before you urged Americans to not blame Asian Americans for the coronavirus? We noticed that you’ve backed off of that language. I know you’re speaking with him again tonight.

THE PRESIDENT: No, I didn’t. I’m speaking to him tonight. It’s scheduled to go tonight. I’ll have a call with President Xi of China. I have a very good relationship.

No, I didn’t like when they came up. And it — it wasn’t…

President Trump's Interview with Sean Hannity - China

President Trump Signs TAIPEI Act into Law

"S. 1678, the “Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019,” which requires the Department of State to report to Congress on steps taken by the United States government to strengthen Taiwan’s diplomatic relations with other partners in the Indo-Pacific region and alter United States’ engagement with nations that undermine the security or prosperity of Taiwan."

View the full text of the TAIPEI Act here.

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Singaporean Foreign Minister Balakrishnan

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan where they emphasized the importance of close U.S.-Singapore coordination in addressing the COVID-19 crisis. The Secretary also welcomed the recent election of Singapore’s Daren Tang to head the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The Secretary and the Foreign Minister reaffirmed their desire to work together to advance WIPO’s core mission of safeguarding intellectual property as a means of driving innovation, investment, and economic opportunity."

Bangladesh Independence Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States and the American people, I send my best wishes to the people of Bangladesh on your Independence Day on March 26 as you commemorate the centennial of the birth of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, “Father of the Nation,” ahead of your 2021 Golden Jubilee.

Over the past 49 years, the United States and Bangladesh have enjoyed a strong friendship and close cooperation on sustainable economic development, regional stability, and peacekeeping.

The United States remains committed to deepening…

Secretary Pompeo At a Press Availability - China, North Korea, and Myanmar

"[...] First, we spent a substantial amount of time on threats posed by authoritarian states. The Chinese Communist Party poses a substantial threat to our health and way of life, as the Wuhan virus outbreak clearly has demonstrated. The CCP also threatens to undermine the free and open order that has underpinned our mutual prosperity and safety in the G7 countries.

I urged every one of the countries to work together to protect the UN and other organizations from its malign influence and authoritarianism. We…

Secretary Pompeo With Tony Perkins of Washington Watch - China

"QUESTION: Joining me now is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mr. Secretary, welcome back to Washington Watch.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Tony, it’s great to be with you today.

QUESTION: I know you just got back in from off the road traveling. I appreciate you joining us this afternoon. But I’m going to ask you a very plain, straightforward question: Where did this virus come from that over 50,000 Americans have contracted, in the last count, about 700 had died from?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, Tony, this virus…

Readout of Secretary Esper's Phone Call With Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh

"Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke with his Indian counterpart, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh, over the phone today. During the call, the two leaders discussed bilateral defense priorities, including ongoing regional cooperation and initiatives to enhance military-to-military engagement and defense trade. They also discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and underscored their commitment to close communication during this period in order to maintain momentum on initiatives that reinforce our comprehensive global partnership. Secretary Esper expressed his appreciation for India's leadership in coordinating COVID-19 related…

Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi today, reinforcing the importance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance as the cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Motegi discussed our two democracies’ shared response to the Wuhan Corona Pandemic and emphasized the need for transparency and accountability by all nations in the face of this international crisis. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Motegi also stressed their continued cooperation on security issues around the globe."

Remarks by President Trump on China and the Coronavirus

Q Okay. Why do you keep calling this the “Chinese virus”? There are reports of dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese Americans in this country. Your own aide, Secretary Azar, says he does not use this term. He says, “Ethnicity does not cause the virus.” Why do you keep using this? A lot of —

THE PRESIDENT: Because it comes from China.

Q — people say it’s racist.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s not racist at all. No. Not at all. It comes from China. That’s…

Remarks by President Trump on China and the Coronavirus

"Q Mr. President, if I could, on China: They reported, for the first time since the outbreak, no new cases over a 24-hour period. Do you have any reason to disbelieve them? And second to that: The National Security Council yesterday put out a tweet very critical of the Chinese government, saying the Chinese Communist Party suppressed initial reports on the Chinese virus and punished doctors and journalists causing Chinese and international experts to miss critical opportunities to prevent a global pandemic.

Could you expand…

Secretary Pompeo With Sean Hannity of The Sean Hannity Show - China and North Korea

"QUESTION: Here with a lot more on this and so much more, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mr. Secretary, great to see you. Thank you for being with us. You actually brought in Chinese representatives to your office on this very topic of blaming the U.S. military and other issues. Can you bring us inside that conversation?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, Sean, thanks for having me on tonight. We did, in fact, call on the Chinese ambassador, and I spoke to my counterpart in China a…

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Remarks to the Press - China

"QUESTION: [...] And then separately, a note that went out yesterday from the State Department saying that China is spreading information about the origins of coronavirus – in light of that, do you believe that China’s containment has been as successful as officials there say? And then do you believe that China is honestly reporting its infection numbers? [...]SECRETARY POMPEO: Your question about China – look, the disinformation campaign that they are waging is designed to shift responsibility. Now is not the time for recrimination…

President Trump's Remarks on China During Press Briefing

"Q And given that many of the precursors for our pharmaceuticals come from China, and there have been disrupt- — there have been supply disruptions — that supply chain has been broken to some degree — do you expect that we could run into a shortage of prescription drugs?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t see that at all. And I think China has every incentive to make sure that things work well. China wants to make sure that things work very well. They have every…

President Trump's Remarks on Call with Japanese Prime Minister Abe

Secretary Pompeo on the Release of the 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - China

"In China, the Chinese Communist Party uses high-tech surveillance systems to monitor potential dissidents.

It’s imprisoning religious minorities in internment camps – part of its historic antipathy to religious believers.

As I’ve said before, the CCP’s record in Xinjiang is the “stain of the century.” It tries to hide what it’s doing by intimidating journalists.

Chinese citizens who want a better future are met with violence.

In July, Wang Meiyu stood outside a police station calling for elections. The police arrested him, and less than…

Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Payne

"Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne today to discuss coordination of U.S. and Australia policy in the Indo-Pacific, including through the annual Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), as well as trilateral infrastructure cooperation with Japan, and Quad coordination with Japan and India. Secretary Pompeo and Foreign Minister Payne reaffirmed their commitment to engage with ASEAN, which remains at the heart of our respective visions for the Indo-Pacific. They also discussed the need to protect freedom and sovereignty in the…

Secretary Pompeo’s Remarks to the Press - China

"On Monday, our USAID announced $37 million in financing allocated for countries affected or at high risk of the Wuhan virus’s spread. That comes on top of the $100 million in humanitarian assistance and delivery of more than 17 tons of assistance that the United States has sent to the Chinese people back in January. [...]

Turning to China: Last week we applied a personnel cap on five Chinese state-backed propaganda outlets here in the United States. We took this action in service of President Trump’s…

Secretary Esper's Remarks During Pentagon Year 2021 Budget Hearing - China and US Indo-Pacific Force Posture

Readout of Secretary Esper’s Telephone Call with the People’s Republic of China’s Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe

"Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper spoke by phone with the People’s Republic of China Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe on March 3, 2020. Secretary Esper used the call to advance a constructive, stable, and results-oriented defense relationship between the United States and China.

Dr. Esper shared with Minister Wei recent developments towards achieving sustainable peace in Afghanistan and the importance of the United States and China continuing cooperation and dialogue to advance shared interests of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

Secretary…

Secretary Pompeo With Bret Baier of Special Report with Bret Baier - North Korea

"QUESTION: Two quick things as we wrap up here. John Bolton, former national security advisor, calls this an Obama-style deal. I know you pushed back on that earlier. He also tweeted out, “North Korea, true to form, resumes ballistic missile testing, yet again violating UN Security Council resolutions. U.S. policy must finally face the reality that North Korea will never voluntarily stop pursuing deliverable nuclear weapons.” Is he right?

SECRETARY POMPEO: The President’s made a real commitment to try to find a path forward. Chairman…

Institution of a Personnel Cap on Designated PRC State Media Entities

"For years, the government of the People’s Republic of China has imposed increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment, and intimidation against American and other foreign journalists operating in China.

President Trump has made clear that Beijing’s restrictions on foreign journalists are misguided. The U.S. government has long welcomed foreign journalists, including PRC journalists, to work freely and without threat of reprisal.

The U.S. government is today instituting a personnel cap on certain PRC-controlled state media entities in the United States – specifically, the five entities that were…

President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Joint News Conference

Remarks by President Trump and Prime Minister Modi of India in Joint Press Statement

"PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. And, Prime Minister Modi, this has been a very special visit — unforgettable, extraordinary. What can you say? Very, very wonderful to be with you. Thank you very much.

And Melania and I have been awed by the majesty of India and the exceptional kindness and generosity of the Indian people.

We’ll always remember the magnificent welcome the citizens of your home state showed us upon arrival. It was a profound expression of strength and of — of…

Remarks by President Trump in Press Conference - Various Issues in the Indo-Pacific

"THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Please. So we had a couple of really great days in India. Prime Minister Modi is a terrific man. He’s a terrific leader. And we have a lot of things going in terms of product being purchased by India.

We just had a meeting. A lot of the press was there. I thought it was a great meeting with some of the biggest businessmen in the world. They come from India. They’re agreeing to invest billions and billions of…

Remarks by Vice President Pence at the Michigan Farm Bureau Lansing Legislative Seminar - China

"You know, for years, one administration after another — frankly, in both political parties — stood by while we amassed extraordinary trade deficits with China. I mean, China took advantage of access to our economy while giving very limited access of what we grow and what we make to their economy.

It’s amazing to think when we went through our inauguration on January 20th, 2017, literally half — $500 billion — half of our international trade deficit was with China. But this President made it…

New Sanctions under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA) - China

"The United States is sanctioning 13 foreign entities and individuals in China, Iraq, Russia, and Turkey pursuant to the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA). This action includes new sanctions against five entities/individuals in China (Luo Dingwen, Baoding Shimaotong Enterprises Services Company Limited, Gaobeidian Kaituo Precise Instrument Co. Ltd , and Wuhan Sanjiang Import and Export Co., Ltd) and Turkey (Eren Carbon Graphite Industrial Trading Company, Ltd) for supporting Iran’s missile program. The Chinese individual Luo Dingwen has also been involved in supplying…

USDA and USTR Announce Progress on Implementation of U.S.-China Phase One Agreement

"U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today that China has taken numerous actions to begin implementing its agriculture-related commitments under the landmark U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement on schedule. The agreement entered into force on February 14, 2020.

These actions include:

  • Signing a protocol that allows the importation of U.S. fresh chipping potatoes (U.S. Chipping Potatoes Protocol Announcement);
  • Lifting the ban on imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products, including pet food containing poultry products…

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Remarks to the Press - China

Outside of our borders, the State Department continues to do an enormous amount of work to review developments inside and outside of China, and to help countries who have been stricken by the virus.

We also want to applaud the brave reporters who are covering the spread of coronavirus from Wuhan itself. Expelling our journalists exposes, once again, the governance issue that led to SARS, and now, the coronavirus, namely censorship. It can have deadly consequences. Had China permitted its own and foreign journalists and…

Tibetan New Year

President Trump's Remarks During State Visit to India

Japan’s National Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America and the American people, I send warm wishes to Emperor Naruhito on the occasion of his 60th birthday this February 23.

The President and I were honored to visit Japan in 2019 and are grateful for the warm welcome by both the Emperor and the Japanese people. President Trump was the first Head of State to meet with Emperor Naruhito after his accession to the throne, continuing the legacy of a great relationship started…

Remarks by President Trump to Rural Stakeholders on California Water Accessibility - Trade Agreements with the Indo-Pacific

"So, from the beginning, the Trump administration has delivered for our great farmers. We love our farmers. Under the previous administration, net farm income plummeted by 20 percent. And under my administration, net farm income has increased by over 50 percent. (Applause.)

And we’ve secured the historic trade deals, including the new trade deal with China. They’re going to buy $50 billion worth of your product. I don’t know if you’re going to be able to make it. The most they ever bought — remember…

Brunei Darussalam National Day

"On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I extend my congratulations to the people of Brunei Darussalam as you celebrate your 36th National Day this February 23.

The United States and Brunei Darussalam have enjoyed friendly relations for the past 175 years and we are proud that our partnership has contributed to enhanced peace and prosperity in the Indo-pacific region. As we look to the future, we hope to continue our close cooperation to further advance our bilateral security, economic, and…

President Trump Campaign Rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado - China

Secretary Pompeo's Remarks on China's Treatment of "Wall Street Journal" Journalists

"The United States condemns China’s expulsion of three Wall Street Journal foreign correspondents. Mature, responsible countries understand that a free press reports facts and expresses opinions. The correct response is to present counter arguments, not restrict speech. The United States hopes that the Chinese people will enjoy the same access to accurate information and freedom of speech that Americans enjoy."

Remarks by President Trump Before Air Force One Departure - China and India

"Q You tweeted this morning about China and wanting U.S. companies to be able to —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q — sell jet parts.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah.

Q Are you — are you not concerned about national security on that?

THE PRESIDENT: I’m very concerned about national security. Number one, I’m concerned about national security. Nobody has done a better job with national security than me. You take a look at what’s going on: We’ve done a great job on national security. A lot of…

Secretary Esper Media Roundtable - China

"Q: On Huawei, you made a very impassioned case downstairs earlier on in this case. It looks like, from everything that we can see from our German colleagues here that Germany is trying to move its way to something close to what Britain decided a few weeks ago, which is keep Huawei on the periphery but not in the core.

Is that an acceptable position, to your mind?

SEC. ESPER: I don't know because I haven't studied their position and what it means…