Nancy Pelosi

We Will Not Abandon Taiwan - Aug. 3, 2022

Nancy Pelosi
August 03, 2022— Taipei, Taiwan
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave these remarks to the press following a bilateral meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan.

Thank you very much. Thank you, Madam President, for your leadership and for the leadership gathered here with you today.

I’m proud of my delegation. We’re almost like one unit. The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Chairman of the—Mr. Meeks; Mr. Takano, Chair of Veterans’ Affairs; Vice Chair of Ways and Means—the trade committee—Congresswoman Suzan DelBene; a Member of the Intelligence Committee, Mr. Krishnamoorthi; and a Member of the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committee, Mr. Kim. I say that because when I speak, I—my receiving your kind words, as well as this invitation, is really received and appreciated by Members of Congress. On both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the Capitol: great enthusiasm for the U.S.-Taiwan relationship.

Let’s just put it in perspective. Four decades ago, the Taiwan Relations Act was built – a strong bond between our two countries; advancing our shared interests of governance, economy and security, while respecting the ‘One China’ policy. Our solidarity with you is more important than ever, as you defend Taiwan and their freedom.

In our bilateral meeting, we discussed key opportunities to deepen our partnership: upholding democracy and human rights and respect the individual, combating—well, I’ll get around to combat.

Three areas that I just mentioned—security, economy, governance. Security: our relationship is a strong one. And we discussed how we can make it stronger and up to date. Our economy: we talked about a trade agreement that might be possible and soon. And in governance: that, among other things, and in governance, I want to salute Taiwan for the leadership you have had in fighting COVID. Probably one of the highest rates of vaccination, but also the lowest number of deaths from COVID. A real 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 to all of us.

And the—as we deal with those three areas, we come here following the President’s lead on the Indo-Pacific economic framework. That’s interesting; we support that. Again, in terms of security, economy and governance, towards that part of that—so we want to build a different set, with the economic package, with their security package, and the trade agreement.

Hopefully, that is imminent.

So, this is a very important time for us, because we are here to listen and to learn about 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 because of this trip.

So again, I think it’s a great pride for us today: the first woman Speaker in the House, meeting the first woman President of Taiwan. We have some enthusiasm for that. And again, we’re very proud of our Representatives. And my colleague Suzan DelBene—so they took a moment to take some pride in women’s leadership.

Again, our delegation came here to send an unequivocal message: America stands with Taiwan. Thank you, Madam President.

Q: Madam Speaker, I’m Joe from Central News Agency. I was given one question. So, the question will be a little bit long, so please bear with me, because we have waited for 25 years for this chance. So, you’re the first House Speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years. So, do you foresee that your visit will bring up even more secondary, high, senior official U.S. from—to visit Taiwan in the future or maybe future Speakers? This is the first part of my question.

And the second part is in accordance with Taiwan Travel Act: high level visit is a two-way thing. So, a lot of U.S. Congressman has proposed President Tsai to speak at U.S. Congress, if possible. Do you see that it could realize anytime soon in the near future, especially under your leadership in your House?

And the final question is—sorry, sorry. The final question is, how do you see how the Chinese welcomed you with military exercise and sanctions against Taiwan? Do you foresee that?

Thank you?

Speaker Pelosi: Well, first, let me thank you for your questions on behalf of all those other people. And let’s just say that, in terms of our visit here and would that lead to other visits—I certainly hope so. But I think it’s important to note that Members of Congress, several of them had made trips just earlier this year. Five Senators, bipartisan, came—again, including the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Menendez, came. Not too much of a fuss was made. Individual Senators have made trips or plan to make trips.

And I just hope that it’s really clear that while China has stood in the way of Taiwan participating and going to certain meetings, that they understand that they will not stand in the way of people coming to Taiwan. It’s a show 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—I think that, that they made a big fuss, because I’m Speaker, I guess. I don’t know if that was a reason or an excuse, because they didn’t say anything when the men came. [Laughter)

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, partially because of COVID. But even before that, it was Christmas and all that. So, we haven’t had many Joint Sessions. But we have tried to accommodate visits by bringing together – bringing together both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol.

And I would hope that that that opportunity would be there. The Joint Session has become something again, because of COVID, we can’t—we aren’t able to do. It’s even hard for us to do the President’s State of the Union address, because you have to space and you have to time and well, you know, here we are.

The—I don’t know. I think that whatever China was going to do, they will do in their own good time. What excuse they may use to do it is another thing, but you really know more about that than I do. I do think that the—it’s really important for the message to be clear that in the Congress, House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans are committed to the security of Taiwan, in order to have Taiwan be able to most effectively defend themselves. But it also is about our shared values of democracy and freedom and how Taiwan has been example to the world in that regard.

And that there are certain insecurities on the part of the President of China as to his own political situation that he’s rattling a saber, I don’t know. But I really—it doesn’t really matter. What matters to us is that we salute the successes of Taiwan, we work together for the security of Taiwan, and we just take great lessons from the Democracy of Taiwan.

Q: Madam President, Madam Speaker. We have seen the Chinese authorities take multiple economic actions against individual Taiwanese companies and entire sectors of the economy here. Taiwan has to pay the cost of your visit, and is likely to continue to do so coming days and weeks. What concrete, tangible benefits can be promised to Taiwan to offset the cost of your trip?

Speaker Pelosi: Well, at the same time as this trip is taking place, and in recognition of our common interest economically, we just passed the CHIPS and Science Act. This is something that opens the door for us to, again, have good, better economic exchanges. I know that some Taiwan businesses, significant ones, are already planning to invest in manufacturing in the United States. And the ingenuity, the entrepreneurial spirit, the brainpower, the intellectual resource that exists in Taiwan and the success of the tech industry here, for one sector, has been, really, a model. And again, we want to increase our relationships.

So, I think that would be saying we would—that would be a goal we share. But with this CHIPS Act, we’re really facilitating reaching that goal, and it’s pretty exciting. It’s pretty exciting. And I think that you will see a recognition of the scientific success that Taiwan has had, being a model for how we go forward. That’s why our bill is called CHIPS and Science.

Q. Thank you so much for taking my question. My question is about democracy. Now we are witnessing the Chinese authorities. Not only to the Taiwanese people and Hong Kong, but their own people, the Chinese people. And as a strong and longtime advocate of democracy, please let us share your ideas. How would they look at the country, South Korea, Japan, where you are heading to, can deter China from invading Taiwan? And how we can guide China to a democratic political system? Thank you.

Speaker Pelosi: Well, two things. In the context—your question comes in the context of, right now, a struggle between autocracy and democracy in the world. We cannot back away from that. So as China goes and uses its soft power, money and whatever, into many countries in order to get their support at the U.N. and other bodies, we have to recognize the—that has some effectiveness because it’s a lot of money. And it’s promises that may or may not ever be kept.

So, when we talk about Taiwan in that context, we have to talk from strength. We have to talk from strength. We have to talk from what Taiwan has been so good about—as being technologically advanced, whether it’s in business or security. And we have to show the world. And that’s one of the purposes of our trip: to show the world the success of the people of Taiwan. Their courage, their courage to change their own country to become more democratic, to become more democratic. Their respect for people and the rest, and quite frankly, a model in this region, in that respect—in those respects. So, strength, goodwill and again, the demonstration of a democracy that has evolved to a stronger place now and offers a very strong contrast to what’s happening on mainland China. No more evidence 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’re here to talk about Taiwan. We have our Taiwan Relations Act. We support the communiques, this, that and the other thing that has gone before. So, we’re 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 biggest sources of strength is democracy. I said at a meeting earlier with the parliamentarians: in our earliest days of our founding of our country, Benjamin Franklin, he 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 security economy, and again, they’re all—and governance. They’re all related. And we want Taiwan to always have freedom with security. And we’re not backing away from that.

Catholic News Agency. 2022. “US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen hold a joint press conference in Taipei” (video). Facebook, August 3.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. 2022. “Transcript of Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Following Bilateral Meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan.” Press release, August 3.

Pelosi, Nancy. 2022. We Will Not Abandon Taiwan. In H. Wilson (Ed.), The Reference Shelf: Representative American Speeches, 2021-2022. Salem Press. articleName=RSDSP22_0039.