Hoeven Outlines Visit to Taiwan and South Korea, Calls for Greater Defense and Trade Ties in the Pacific

WASHINGTON – During remarks delivered on the floor of the U.S. Senate this week, Senator John Hoeven reviewed his recent visit to South Korea and Taiwan, outlining their longstanding defense and trade ties with the U.S. and stressing the need to:

  • Enhance the self-defense capabilities of U.S. allies and partners in the Pacific to better deter the aggressions of China and North Korea.
  • Advance a regional strategy of like-minded allies and partners to preserve peace and stability and support a free and open Indo-Pacific region.  
  • Modernize America’s military forces, including its nuclear missions, to ensure an effective deterrent and support peace through strength.
  • Maintain strong economic relationships with East Asian allies and partners, emphasizing food and energy security, to not only benefit trade partners but also help counter China’s influence.

“This trip convinced me even more that our highest priority should be to cultivate close security and economic relationships with our fellow democratic and free market allies and partners. This is the best way to deter conflict and advance prosperity both for the United States and across the region,” Hoeven said.

“We have long-standing bilateral security alliances with South Korea as well as Japan, the Philippines and other countries in the region, as well as a long-standing defense relationship with Taiwan. These alliances support U.S. interests in the region and ensure that we are not forced to operate from North America when we seek to secure and stabilize the Western Pacific. We should make every effort to turn our system of bilateral alliances into a broader network of freedom loving people across the Indo-Pacific region. 

“When we are strong, our partners and allies will find it easier to strengthen themselves and work with us to keep the region secure. This means we need to build advanced capabilities that allow our forces to operate at long distances and in close coordination with our allies and partners. It also means continuing efforts to modernize our nuclear forces, which are foundational to our national security and which allow our allies and partners to focus on developing conventional capabilities rather than being tempted to build nuclear arsenals of their own.

“My trip reinforced my belief that coordination with our regional allies and partners should not be limited to military cooperation. We need to maintain strong economic relationships with our East Asian friends both because it benefits the people of the United States and because strong economic relationships in the region also enhance deterrence and support peace. In particular, I would prioritize trade and economic resiliency…particularly with respect to energy and food supplies.

“The bottom line is that we face significant challenges in East Asia, but we should not face them alone. We need to work with our allies and build this strategy of regional cooperation and coordination that creates deterrence, not only in terms of defense, but also our shared market-based economies… Standing together with other free market democracies to defend our people and our values is the key to peace and prosperity in the years and decades ahead.” 

Hoeven’s full remarks can be viewed here.