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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen for a meeting and awards ceremony on Wednesday morning, amid a visit to the country that China strongly condemned.
During his address at the President’s office in Taipei, Pelosi addressed US-Taiwanese relations, a point of contention for the Chinese government.
“Today our delegation, of which I am very proud, came to Taiwan to say unequivocally that we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan and we are proud of our enduring friendship,” she said during the meeting. Wednesday morning ceremony.
“America has made a fundamental promise to always stand with Taiwan,” Pelosi added, referring to the Taiwan Relations Act. “And on this solid foundation, we have built a thriving partnership, grounded in our shared values of self-government and self-determination, focused on our mutual security interests in the region and across the world, committed to the economic ties that power, prosperity for all our people.”
Whereas the United States officially recognizes the one China policy, which states that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory, Pelosi said the United States supports the country’s desire for freedom.
During the reunion, Pelosi was awarded the Order of Auspicious Clouds with the Grand Cordon Special Award, Taiwan’s highest civilian honor. It is a symbol of America’s commitment and friendship with Taiwan.
“Thank you, Madam President,” Pelosi said. “It is with great and immense admiration for your leadership and great personal humility that I accept this award.”
Pelosi repeatedly praised Tsai Ing-wen for being the first female president in Taiwan’s history and said Congress was unified in its decision to support Taiwan.
“I accept it not only for me, but for us members of congress who have been so instrumental in everything you have said about our accomplishments together, Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate, on both sides of the aisle united in our support for Taiwan,” she said. “This time I am so thrilled to receive this award on behalf of the United States Congress, which is just [as] unwavering [in their support]”.
She added, “I can’t wait to display this award in the president’s office.”
The two leaders shared an elbow bump ahead of his remarks and both wore face masks during the meeting.
“We are proud to be here,” Pelosi continued, speaking on behalf of the visiting Democratic delegation.
“Taiwan’s history is an inspiration to all freedom-loving people in the United States and around the world. From a crucible of defiance, you have produced a thriving democracy, one of the freest in the world and proudly led by a female president,” she added.
Pelosi said his visit to Taiwan underscores American support for the country’s future.
“Indeed, the people of Taiwan have proven to the world that with hope, courage and determination, it is possible to build a peaceful and prosperous future, even in terms of the challenges you face. And now more than ever, solidarity of America with Taiwan is crucial. And that is the message we bring here today,” she said.
Pelosi added, “Today, the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy. America’s resolve to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains steadfast. And we are grateful. to the partnership of the people of Taiwan in this mission.”
The meeting comes amid heightened tension with China and with the Chinese government strongly condemning the visit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned President Joe Biden in a phone call Thursday that the United States should not “play with fire” regarding its activities and communications with Taiwan.
“Those who play with fire will perish. It is hoped that the United States will be lucid about this,” said a Chinese reading of the Biden-Xi appeal.
Pelosi’s meeting with Taiwan’s president comes just days after Taiwan suffered cyberattacks and Taiwan’s defense ministry accused China of violating international law and Taiwan’s sovereignty.
China has also announced live-fire military drills in different parts of Taiwan.
The United States, in response, sent several warships stationed from Singapore to waters near Taiwan, in what the military claims is a standard military exercise.
Marine send the USS Ronald Reagan, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam and the destroyer USS Higgins to the Philippine Sea, east of Taiwan.
During Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, she also met with Taiwanese lawmakers and toured the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s parliament.
Pelosi was joined at the meeting by a delegation of Democratic members of Congress, including representatives. Gregory Meeks from New York, Mark Takano from California, Suzan DelBene from Washington, Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois and Andy Kim from New Jersey.
Fox News’ Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.