Guam – Local media got within 75 yards of Vice President Mike Pence during his stopover on Guam Sunday, but not much closer. After reporters and photographers waited five hours to meet the second in command of the United States of America, the closest he and Second Lady Karen Pence came to interacting with Guam news media was a wave hello and a wave goodbye. They answered no media questions, even as reporters shouted to get their attention and waved them over to a cordoned press area.
Vice President Pence landed back on American soil at Andersen Air Force Base after more than a week away on a diplomatic mission to Asia. Guam was a routine stop and a chance to connect with Guam-based military families and thank those in uniform for their service to the nation and the Pacific. As soon as Pence and his wife greeted dignitaries on the tarmac, they beelined it straight to military families who waited in another cordoned area off the tarmac.
Pence’s excursion to the Pacific has included a stop in Tokyo to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a meeting with Australian Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack in Cairns, where Pence reportedly base-camped during the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Papua New Guinea on Saturday and Sunday.
Earlier in the week, Pence met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore. He and his entourage of staff, uniformed attaches, and a traveling press pool are making their way to Hawaii next. Pence’s Air Force Two jet landed several minutes behind an identical jet emblazoned with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA across its upper fuselage and Old Glory livery on the tail.
At both regional forums, Pence reiterated President Donald Trump’s firm stance against China’s aggressive trade practices, and went so far as to announce that the US would be teaming with Australia to redevelop the Lombrum naval base at Manus Island, at the open-arms invitation of Papua New Guinea, which governs the island. The move could conceivably place US Naval operations that much closer to the critical Asia trade route through the South China Sea, a geographic zone over which China has asserted aggressive control in recent years.
Pacific News Center will share more on this story at 5:30 p.m. Monday on PNC News First on ABC7. You can also view videos of the Vice President’s arrival and greetings at Andersen Air Force Base by visiting the Pacific News Center website.