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.

Methodology

Pinned Posts

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…

Secretary Esper Message to the Force on Accomplishments in Implementation of the National Defense Strategy - China

"First, one of our top ten goals – the priority that drives and underlies many of our efforts today – is to focus the Department on China. To do this, we established a China Strategy Management Group to push that agenda forward. I also directed the National Defense University to refocus its curriculum by dedicating 50 percent of the coursework to the PRC, and I tasked the Military Departments and Services to make China the pacing threat in all of our schools, programs, and training."

All Posts

Joint Statement in Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Korean War by Secretary Esper and Republic of Korea Minister of Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo

"Today, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) recognize and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. On this day in 1950, the U.S.-ROK military alliance was born of necessity and forged in blood, as brave U.S. and ROK service members from a world apart banded together based on shared values and common purpose. This formidable force was soon augmented by service members from 16 partner nations who answered the call to preserve freedom and democracy under the auspices…

Joint Statement: Five Eyes Defense Ministers’ Meeting

"The defense ministers/secretaries from the Five Eyes nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States) met via videoconference on 22 / 23 June.

Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to advance defense and security cooperation on matters of common interest to support and defend a stable, rules-based, global order that is increasingly being challenged.

Ministers recognized the role of regional partners and institutions in shaping globally and across the Indo-Pacific a stable and secure, economically resilient community, where the sovereign rights of all…

Readout of Secretary Esper's Phone Call With Thailand Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Prayut Chan-o-cha

"Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spoke with his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Prayut Chan-o-cha, on the phone today to discuss key bilateral issues within the Alliance. Secretary Esper thanked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government for their leadership in responding to COVID-19 and offered continued assistance from the United States. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha conveyed his government’s gratitude to the United States for its support, which has been led by the United States Agency for International Development, the Centers for…

Secretary Esper's Op-Ed in "The Straits Times" on US Indo-Pacific Policy

"As an Indo-Pacific nation, the United States is committed to ensuring the region remains free and open for all, and upholding the rules and norms that have secured prosperity for nations of all sizes.

In the year since the Department of Defence released the Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, we have made great strides across the three pillars of our strategy: preparedness, strengthening partnerships, and promoting a more networked region - but there is still much more work to be done.

First, under preparedness, we are prioritising…

Secretary Esper's Phone Call With the Philippines Secretary of Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana

"Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke by phone today with his Philippine counterpart, Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana. Secretary Esper wished Secretary Lorenzana a Happy Independence Day and reiterated his support for a strong and enduring U.S.-Philippine defense alliance. Secretary Esper expressed his support for the Philippines Government decision last week to suspend the Visiting Forces Agreement termination, and reiterated how the agreement benefits both countries. Further, Secretary Esper and Secretary Lorenzana discussed a range of regional security issues including impacts…

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

"Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper spoke by phone today with his Indian counterpart, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh. Secretary Esper conveyed condolences regarding the recent loss of life in West Bengal, India, due to Cyclone Amphan and the two leaders discussed ongoing cooperation on the COVID-19 pandemic. Secretary Esper and Minister Singh discussed a range of regional security issues and the Secretary expressed his firm commitment to India’s leadership across the Indo-Pacific. Secretary Esper reiterated his support for a strong and enduring U.S.-India…

Secretary Esper's Remarks on China on the Hugh Hewitt Show

[Hugh Hewitt] HH: Let me begin with what Senator Rick Scott just told me. I asked him are we in Cold War 2.0, and the Senator responded absolutely concerning China. There’s no question about it. Do you agree, Secretary Esper, that Cold War 2.0 with China has begun?

[Mark Esper] ME: There’s certainly been a change in this country over the last few months after we’ve seen what China has done with regard to the Coronavirus. I think it’s the latest example of China once…

Secretary Esper's Remarks on China and COVID-19

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

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."