TAIPEI: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday morning met with Taiwan's President, Tsai Ing-wen and reiterated Washington's support to the island country and said that the US' determination to preserve Taiwan's sovereignty is "iron-clad".
"America has made a bedrock promise to always stand with Taiwan. On this strong foundation, we've a thriving partnership grounded in self-government and self-determination focused on mutual security in the region and the world committed to economic prosperity," Pelosi said.
The US House Speaker had touched down in Taiwan on Tuesday night amid repeated condemnation by China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as its territory. Shortly after Pelosi landed, 21 Chinese military aircraft flew into the southwestern part of Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ), as confirmed by Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND).
During her meeting with Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei, Pelosi termed Taiwan as a flourishing country and said that Taipei had proved the world that hope, courage and determination can build peaceful and prosperous future despite challenges that the country faced. "Now, more than ever, America's solidarity with Taiwan is crucial, that's the message we bring in today," she added.
"Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy," Pelosi said adding "America's determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains ironclad." According to The New York Times, Pelosi is also likely to hold discussions with a number of human rights leaders on Wednesday afternoon, before she departs. Earlier in the day, Pelosi visited Taiwan's parliament and also held a meeting with Tsai Chi-chang, the deputy speaker.
During the meeting, she said, "We come in friendship to Taiwan, we come in peace for the region." Over the US-Taiwan economic cooperation, Pelosi said that her new US legislation aimed at strengthening the American chip industry in Taiwan which will compete with China.
"Now we look forward to our conversation about how we can work together to save the planet from the climate crisis. We thank you for your leadership and we want the world to recognise it. Our visit was about human rights, unfair trade practices, security issues," she added.
Pelosi further said that she is here to listen and learn from Taiwanese people as to how can they come together. She also congratulated Taiwan for addressing the issue of Covid. "We congratulate you on successfully addressing the issue of Covid which is also an issue of health, economy, security & governance," Pelosi said.
Taking to Twitter, upon her arrival, Pelosi said, "Our Congressional delegation's visit to Taiwan honours America's unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan's vibrant Democracy." "Our visit is part of our broader trip to the Indo-Pacific -- including Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan -- focused on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance. Our discussions with Taiwan leadership will focus on reaffirming our support for our partner and on promoting our shared interests, including advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region," she added.
Pelosi also expressed US solidarity with 23 million people of Taiwan in the face of the increasing threat from China. Meanwhile, China on Tuesday firmly opposed the US House Speaker's Taiwan visit terming the trip a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the joint communique signed between the two countries.
"On 2 August, in disregard of China's strong opposition and serious representations, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited China's Taiwan region. This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiques," Xinhua news agency quoted the Chinese Foreign Ministry as saying.