Taipei, Taiwan – President Nancy joined President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan for a press event following a bilateral meeting. Here are the speaker’s statements:
President Pelosi. Many thanks. Thank you, Madam President, for your leadership and for the leadership gathered here with you today.
I am proud of my delegation. We are almost like a unit. The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Chairman of the – Mr. Meeks; Mr. Takano, President of Veterans Affairs; Vice President of Ways and Means – the trade committee – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene; a member of the Intelligence Committee, Mr. Krishnamoorthi; and a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations and Armed Services, Mr. Kim. I say that because when I speak, members of Congress really welcome me and appreciate receiving your kind words, as well as this invitation. On both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the Capitol: great enthusiasm for the US-Taiwan relationship.
Let’s put it in perspective. Four decades ago, the Taiwan Relations Law was built on building a strong bond between our two countries: promoting our shared interests of governance, economy and security, adhering to the ‘One China’ policy. Our solidarity with you is more important than ever as you defend Taiwan and its freedom.
In our bilateral meeting, we discussed key opportunities to deepen our partnership: defend democracy and human rights and respect the individual, fight, well, I’ll get in touch to fight.
Three areas I just mentioned: security, economy, governance. Security: our relationship is strong. And we discuss how we can make it stronger and updated. Our economy: we are talking about a trade agreement that could be possible and soon. And in governance: that, among other things, and in governance, I want to salute Taiwan for the leadership it has shown in the fight against COVID. Probably one of the highest rates of vaccination, but also the lowest number of deaths from COVID. A true model for the world. It’s about science, but it’s also about community acceptance of a plan. And that is called leadership. So thank you for that lesson for all of us.
And while we’re dealing with those three areas, we come here following the President’s lead on the Indo-Pacific economic framework. That’s interesting; we support that. Once again, in terms of security, economy and governance, towards that part of it, we want to build a different set, with the economic package, with its security package and the trade agreement. Hopefully, that is imminent.
So this is a very important moment for us, because we’re here to listen and learn how we can do this more effectively, really achieving the goals for Taiwan that we all aspire to, but don’t understand as fully as we do. Now for this trip.
Again, I think it’s a great pride for us today: the first female speaker of the House, meeting with the first female president of Taiwan. We have some enthusiasm for that. And again, we are very proud of our Representatives. And my colleague Suzan DelBene, so they took a moment to take pride in women’s leadership.
Once again, our delegation came here to send an unequivocal message: the United States stands with Taiwan. Thank you, Madam President.
Q. Madam President, this is Joe from the Central News Agency. They gave me a question. So the question is going to be a bit long, so bear with me, because we’ve been waiting for this opportunity for 25 years. So you are the first Speaker of the House to visit Taiwan in 25 years. So, do you anticipate that your visit will bring even more secondary, high-ranking, high-ranking US officials visiting Taiwan in the future or perhaps future speakers? This is the first part of my question.
And the second part is in accordance with the Taiwan Travel Law: the high-level visit is a two-way thing. Many US congressmen have proposed that President Tsai speak to the US Congress, if possible. Do you see that she could come to fruition in the near future, especially under her leadership in her House?
And the final question is: I’m sorry, I’m sorry. The final question is, how do you see how the Chinese received you with military exercises and sanctions against Taiwan? Do you foresee that? Thank you?
President Pelosi. Well, first, let me thank you for your questions on behalf of all those other people. And let’s just say, in terms of our visit here and if that leads to other visits, I certainly hope so. But I think it’s important to note that members of Congress, several of them had taken trips earlier this year. Five senators came, bipartisan, again, including the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Menendez. Not much fuss was made. Individual senators have taken trips or plan to take trips.
And I just hope that it’s really clear that while China has gotten in the way of Taiwan participating and attending certain meetings, they understand that they’re not going to get in the way of people coming to Taiwan. It is a sign of friendship, of support, but also a source of learning about how we can work together better in collaboration. So yeah, no, I don’t think so, I think they made a big fuss, because I’m the Speaker, I guess. I don’t know if that was a reason or an excuse, because they didn’t say anything when the men arrived.
The second part was, the second part was, that was the third part, but I’ll go there. Okay. That was the third part, I thought. We haven’t had a Joint Session in probably three years in Congress, in part due to COVID. But even before that, it was Christmas and all. So we haven’t had many Joint Sessions. But we’ve tried to accommodate visits by gathering, gathering both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol. And I hope that opportunity is there. The Joint Session has become something again, because of COVID, we can’t, we can’t do. It’s even hard for us to do the President’s State of the Union address, because you have space and time and well, you know, here we are.
Him – I don’t know. I believe that whatever China is going to do, it will do in its own time. What excuse they can use to do it is something else, but you really know more about it than I do. I think it’s really important that the message is clear in Congress, the House and the Senate, that Democrats and Republicans are committed to Taiwan’s security, so that Taiwan can defend itself in the most effective way. But it’s also about our shared values of democracy and freedom and how Taiwan has been an example to the world in that regard.
And that there are certain insecurities on the part of the president of China regarding his own political situation that is shaking a saber, I don’t know. But I really – it doesn’t really matter. What matters to us is that we salute Taiwan’s successes, work together for Taiwan’s security, and learn great lessons from Taiwan’s democracy.
Q. Madam President, Madam Speaker. We have seen Chinese authorities take multiple economic actions against individual Taiwanese companies and entire sectors of the economy here. Taiwan has to pay the cost of his visit and is likely to continue to do so in the coming days and weeks. What concrete and tangible benefits can Taiwan be promised to offset the cost of their trip?
President Pelosi. Well, at the same time as this trip is taking place, and in recognition of our common economic interest, we just passed the Science and CHIPS Act. This is something that opens the door for us, once again, to have good and better economic exchanges. I know that some major Taiwanese companies are already planning to invest in manufacturing in the United States. And the ingenuity, the entrepreneurial spirit, the intellectual capacity, the intellectual resource that exists in Taiwan and the success of the technology industry here, for one sector, has really been a model. And again, we want to increase our relationships.
So I think that would be to say that we would do it, it would be a goal that we share. But with this CHIPS Act, we’re really making it easier to achieve that goal, and it’s pretty exciting. It’s pretty exciting. And I think you’ll see an acknowledgment of the scientific success that Taiwan has had, being a model of how we move forward. That’s why our bill is called CHIPS and Science.
Q. Thank you very much for accepting my question. My question is about democracy. Now we are witnessing the Chinese authorities. [inaudible]. Not only for the Taiwanese and Hong Kong people, but also for their own people, the Chinese people. And as a long-time strong supporter of democracy, let us share your thoughts. How would they see the country, South Korea, Japan, where you are going, can deter China from invading Taiwan? And how can we guide China towards a democratic political system? Thanks.
President Pelosi. Well, two things. In the context: his question arises in the context of, at this moment, a struggle between autocracy and democracy in the world. We can’t back down from that. So as China goes and uses its soft power, money and whatever, in many countries to get their support in the UN and other bodies, we have to recognize that it has some effectiveness because it’s a lot of money. And they are promises that may or may not ever be fulfilled.
So when we talk about Taiwan in that context, we have to speak from the force. We have to speak from the force. We have to talk about what Taiwan has done so well: being technologically advanced, whether in business or security. And we have to show it to the world. And that is one of the purposes of our trip: to show the world the success of the people of Taiwan. His courage, his courage to change his own country to be more democratic, to be more democratic. His respect for the people and the rest, and frankly, a model in this region, in that aspect, in those aspects. So strength, goodwill and again, the demonstration of a democracy that has evolved to a stronger place now and offers a stark contrast to what is happening in mainland China. No more evidence is needed than what happened in Hong Kong under ‘one country, two systems’. That didn’t happen.
But again, we’re not here to talk about mainland China. We are here to talk about Taiwan. We have our Taiwan Relations Law. We support releases, this, that and the other that has gone before. So we are not aware, we are supporters of the status quo and the rest. And we don’t want anything to happen to Taiwan by force.
So strength, and one of the greatest sources of strength is democracy. I said it in a previous meeting with the parliamentarians: in our first days of our founding of our country, Benjamin Franklin said: freedom and democracy, freedom and democracy are one thing, security here. If we don’t have, we can’t have either, if we don’t have both.
So security, economics, the economics of security and, again, they are all, and governance. They are all related. And we want Taiwan to always have freedom with security. And we’re not going to back down from that.