Vice President Lai Ching-te held a videoconference with US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the afternoon of January 28 (morning January 29 Taipei time) during a transit stop in San Francisco after leading a delegation to attend the inauguration of Honduran President Xiomara Castro. Following their meeting, Representative to the US Bi-khim Hsiao (蕭美琴) provided a briefing on the proceedings.
Representative Hsiao said that Speaker Pelosi, whose California congressional district is not far from San Francisco International Airport, gave Vice President Lai a warm welcome to the city, and that the two had met previously when he attended the National Prayer Breakfast in the US in February of 2020.
Representative Hsiao said that the vice president holds Speaker Pelosi in high regard for her many years of speaking out for global democracy and human rights, a distinction which has brought her much admiration from the international community as a defender of human rights. The vice president also encouraged Speaker Pelosi to continue leading the way in defending the universal values of freedom, democracy, and human rights worldwide.
Representative Hsiao noted that the vice president also thanked Speaker Pelosi for her long-term, staunch support of Taiwan, and especially for proposing the House version of the America COMPETES Act which includes numerous sections supporting Taiwan, saying that he looks forward to continuing to work with the speaker in areas of mutual concern for Taiwan and the US.
Representative Hsiao emphasized that discussions at the meeting focused on areas including security, the economy, and our ideals, all of which are core Taiwan-US mutual interests and reflect our shared values.
Representative Hsiao said that Speaker Pelosi has long been a firm friend to Taiwan, and that during today's dialogue she expressed support for Taiwan's participation in international organizations, especially the World Health Organization (WHO). The speaker also had high praise for Taiwan's efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, and revealed to Vice President Lai that she had personally expressed to the WHO director-general that Taiwan should be permitted to participate in the WHO, and that given our previous disease-prevention performance, Taiwan's participation is indispensable.
Representative Hsiao said that, even though the pandemic made it difficult for them to meet in person, Speaker Pelosi had expressed hope that she will have opportunities for further discussions with the vice president, whether in Washington, DC, Taipei, or via videoconference. Representative Hsiao also noted that their conversation was very friendly, and felt like a meeting between two old friends.
Representative Hsiao said that Vice President Lai had a number of videoconferences scheduled for the next day, and that although Americans traditionally do not hold meetings on Saturdays, many people are looking forward to exchanging views with the vice president, with further talks to be held on cooperation in disease prevention, healthcare, and economic affairs.