Richard Nixon photo

Remarks at a News Briefing on Vice President Agnew's Forthcoming Trip to Asia.

December 24, 1969

Ladies and gentlemen:

This meeting with the press brings back some reminiscences for me, because I recall when I was in my first year as Vice President, when President Eisenhower sent me on a trip to Asia, a trip which took me clear around the world and which was really my first opportunity to see that part of the world except for service in World War II.

The Vice President is now going to leave on a trip to Asia, which will take him to a number of countries, 37,000 miles, which is more than around the world, although he will be coming back from Asia to the United States directly rather than going on around.

We have the map here just to give you an indication of the scope of the trip. And I should say that in selecting the countries that the Vice President is visiting, the Philippines was selected first, because he is going there as the representative of the President to the inauguration of President [Ferdinand E.] Marcos. The other countries in Asia are for the most part nations that I was unable to visit on my recent Asian trip and in fact, he will be visiting one country, Nepal, that I have never visited. That is quite unusual.

In terms of where he would be going, the map of course is self-explanatory.

He will be swinging out across the Pacific, stopping at Guam, going first to the Philippines, then to the Republic of China, to Thailand, Nepal, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and then back to the United States.

The Vice President will be taking messages to each of the heads of state and heads of government from me to them. He will be prepared to discuss bilateral matters between the United States and the various governments involved, and he also will be prepared to talk to the leaders there with regard to the Nixon Doctrine, which I announced on my trip to Asia at Guam.

In addition to that, I have asked him particularly to emphasize in his talks with Asian leaders the desire of the United States to develop programs, economic programs and other programs, for Asian development after Vietnam.

The Vice President will be prepared to have such discussions with each of the Asian leaders wherever they may be interested in those subjects.

It is a 3-week trip. He will be returning in time for the beginning of the next session, and I wish him very well. And I only wish that I could go along with him, because I have some very pleasant memories of those countries that I visited.

So, we wish you a good trip and a safe return. We might need that one vote margin in the Senate.

Note: The President spoke at 12:41 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. Following his remarks, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew made a statement and answered questions on his itinerary and plans. A text of the session was released by the White House on December 24, 1969.

The Vice President left on his 25-day Asian trip on December 26, 1969, from Andrews Air Force Base.

Richard Nixon, Remarks at a News Briefing on Vice President Agnew's Forthcoming Trip to Asia. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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