LOS ANGELES—House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in California on April 5, in a rejection of saber-rattling by the Chinese communist regime.
McCarthy (R-Calif.) and a bipartisan congressional delegation welcomed Tsai at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
At the start of a meeting, McCarthy called Tsai “a great friend to America.”
“I am optimistic we will continue to find ways for the people of America and Taiwan to work together to promote economic freedom, democracy, peace, and stability,” he added.
The speaker later highlighted the democratic values that underlie ties between the United States and Taiwan.
“I believe our bond is stronger now than at any time in my lifetime,” he said.
Tsai, in her remarks, alluded to the threat posed by communist China, saying, “We once again find ourselves in a world where democracy is under threat, and the urgency of keeping the beacon of freedom shining cannot be understated.”
The Taiwanese president thanked Congress for its bipartisan support for Taiwan toward “enhancing Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, fostering robust trade and economic ties … and supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the international community.”
“Taiwan is grateful to have the United States of America by our side as we confront the unique challenges of our time,” she said.
After the meeting, McCarthy said it was clear that three actions were necessary. “First, we must continue the arms sales to Taiwan and make sure such sales reached Taiwan on a timely basis.
“Second, we must strengthen our economic cooperation, particularly with trade and technology. Third, we must continue to promote our shared values on the world stage.”
Supporters waving Taiwan flags and pro-Taiwan and Hong Kong banners chanted “Jiayou Taiwan”—the equivalent of “Go Taiwan”—in the Reagan Library parking lot ahead of Tsai and McCarthy’s arrival for the highest-level meeting for a Taiwanese president on U.S. soil since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing from Taipei in 1979.
By Brad Jones