The meeting between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen concluded on Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley with both leaders making statements to the media.
Members of Congress from both parties also attended.
“I believe our bond is stronger now than at any time or point in my lifetime,” McCarthy said. “The friendship between the people of Taiwan and America is a matter of profound importance to the free world and it is critical to maintain economic freedom, peace and regional stability.”
Ing-wen said it was fitting to hold the meeting at the Reagan library to “pay tribute to a distinguished American president and world leader and man who also played a crucial role in partnership with the U.S. Congress in protecting and fortifying U.S.-Taiwan relations.”
Ing-wen visited the U.S. and meeting with McCarthy after her trip to Belize.
“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,” Ing-wen said after the meeting. “President Reagan said it best. Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
The Chinese government had been warning McCarthy not to meet with Ing-wen.
Last week, Xu Xueyuan, charge d’affaires at the Chinese embassy in Washington, said the meeting “could lead to serious, serious, serious confrontation in the U.S.-China relationship.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning repeated the warning on Monday, saying that the government opposes official interaction between the U.S. and Taiwan government.
McCarthy respond to the Chinese government’s statements.
“China can’t tell me where or when to go,” he said.
China’s government also opposed former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s meeting with Taiwan’s president in Taipei in August. Pelosi applauded Wednesday’s meeting.
“Today’s meeting between President Tsai of Taiwan and Speaker McCarthy is to be commended for its leadership, its bipartisan participation and its distinguished and historic venue,” she said in a statement.
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