US House Speaker Pelosi Meets Taiwan President Tsai

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on August 3 during a visit that China says is a “serious violation” of the “One China” concept that guides US-China relations with regard to Taiwan.

Footage streamed live by Tsai shows Pelosi receiving the Order of Propitious Cloud with Special Grand Cordon. Pelosi said the award was a “a symbol of America’s strong and enduring friendship with Taiwan."

Speaking at the event at the Taiwan presidential office, Tsai thanked Pelosi for her “unwavering support” for Taiwan.

Pelosi said the US delegation "came to Taiwan to make unequivocally clear we will not abandon Taiwan.” Pelosi also said now more than ever, US solidarity with Taiwan was “crucial.”

“America’s determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains iron-clad,” Pelosi said.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said on Weibo the actions of Tsai and her government would “accelerate its own destruction and push Taiwan into the abyss of disaster,” according to a translation.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement expressing “strong opposition” to the visit on Tuesday and announced further military drills in the region, which the Taiwanese military condemned. Credit: Tsai Ing-wen via Storyful

Video transcript

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Please rise, ladies and gentlemen. The president and the speaker have arrived.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Madam President, Madam Speaker, please take your positions on the stage.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: The ceremony to confer the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon upon Speaker Pelosi will now begin.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Citation-- the honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America, is an outstanding stateswoman of remarkable erudition who has played a key role in promoting relations between the Republic of China, Taiwan, and the United States of America. Her exceptional contributions have earned her the sincere gratitude of the people and government of the Republic of China, Taiwan.

In recognition of Speaker Pelosi's extraordinary achievements, the government of the Republic of China, Taiwan, in accordance with Article 8 of the Orders Act and by presidential decree, hereby confers upon her the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon given in Taipei on the third day of the eighth month of the 111th year of the Republic of China, Taiwan, corresponding to the third day of August of the year 2022 in the Gregorian calendar.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: President Tsai will now confer the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon upon Speaker Pelosi.

[APPLAUSE]

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: We now welcome Madam President, Madam Speaker. Please return to your seats.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: President Tsai will now deliver her remarks. Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Meeks, Chairman Takano, Vice Chairperson DelBene, chairman Krishnamoorthi, Congressman Kim, Director Al Kirk, Mr. Pelosi, dear guests, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Speaker Pelosi and the delegation. In our previous transit stops in the United States, Vice President Lai and I had always received calls from the Speaker to welcome us and exchange views with us on Taiwan-US relations. I am delighted to meet face to face with this Speaker in Taiwan this time.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Speaker Pelosi is truly one of Taiwan's most devoted friends. The representatives here today are all important leaders in the House and have long made proactive efforts to promote progress in Taiwan-US relations in all areas. We are truly grateful to you for making this visit to Taiwan to showcase the US Congress' staunch support for Taiwan.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Speaker Pelosi has deep and longstanding ties with Taiwan. In October 1999, the speaker visited Taiwan and was particularly concerned with the 1981 earthquake and its aftermath. In the two decades following the earthquake, Taiwan not only made successful post-disaster reconstruction but also weathered multiple challenges one after another.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: In the past two decades, Speaker Pelosi continued to pay close attention to Democratic development in Taiwan and demonstrated unwavering support for Taiwan's international participation. Madam Speaker, I must extend my most heartfelt gratitude to you.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: I have great admiration for Speaker Pelosi, who has long stood firm in safeguarding freedom, democracy, and human rights, who never hesitates to confront head on rhetoric and activities set to undermine Democratic values. The speaker's courage and actions are deeply inspiring and touching.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Russia's invasion of Ukraine earlier this year has made security over the Taiwan Strait another focus of worldwide attention. Aggressions against Democratic Taiwan would have a tremendous impact on the security of the entire Indo-Pacific.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: I would like to take this opportunity to explicitly express to you Taiwan's key principles in facing uncertainties.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: First, facing deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down. We will firmly uphold our nation's sovereignty and continue to hold the line of defense for democracy. At the same time, we wish to cooperate and work in unity with all democracies around the world to jointly safeguard democratic values.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Second, we will do whatever it takes to strengthen Taiwan's self-defense capability. Taiwan is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and we will make Taiwan a key stabilizing force for regional security, ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific as well as the stable development of global trade and supply chains.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Third, Taiwan is a reliable and untrustworthy cooperative partner of the United States. We will continue to work with the US Congress as well as the administration to strengthen cooperation in areas such as Indo-Pacific security, economic development, talent cultivation, and supply chains so as to further elevate Taiwan-US relations.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Once again, I welcome Speaker Pelosi and the delegation to Taiwan. Thank you for taking concrete actions to show your staunch support for Taiwan at this critical moment and for expressing the US' consistent policy supporting Taiwan's self-defense.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: The Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon represents our gratitude to Speaker Pelosi, and it also expresses our wish to continue progressing Taiwan-US relations through more cooperation.

TSAI ING-WEN: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: To close, thank you all again for coming. Taiwan and the United States shall continue with our mutual support and be steadfast partners to one another in our joint efforts to make democracy shine again. Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Madam President, please be seated.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Speaker Pelosi will now deliver her remarks.

NANCY PELOSI: Thank you, Madam President. It is such a high honor to receive the order of the Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon from you. We are so proud of your leadership, a woman president in one of the freest societies in the world. It's great, immense admiration for your leadership and great personal humility that I accept this award, humility because I accept it not for me only but for our members of Congress who are so instrumental in all that you said about our accomplishments together. Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate, both sides of the aisle, united in our support for Taiwan.

This time, I am so excited to receive this award on behalf of the United States Congress as it is just unwavering. The response that we had to our visit was so positive from our colleagues. I look forward to displaying this award in the speaker's office or wearing it there-- right?

[LAUGHTER]

--in the Capitol as a symbol of our treasured friendship.

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

NANCY PELOSI: Madam President, I think it's important to remind some and inform others of how we are here. 43 years ago, with a Taiwan Relations Act, America made a bedrock promise to always stand with Taiwan. And on this strong foundation, we have built a thriving partnership grounded in our shared values of self-government and self-determination, focused on our mutual security interest in the region and across the world, committed to the economic ties that power prosperity for all of our people.

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

NANCY PELOSI: Today, our delegation, of which I'm very proud, came to Taiwan to make unequivocally clear we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan and we are proud of our enduring friendship. And may I mention, they're all co-chairs of this delegation. The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Gregory Meeks of New York, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Takano of California, the Vice Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, Congresswoman DelBene of Washington State, member of the Intelligence Committee and a leader in COVID fight and so many things in the Congress, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi from I say Illinois. He says Chicago.

And again, one of our newest members of Congress serving the-- as a state-- as a diplomat in the State Department before coming, Congressman Andy Kim of not only the Armed Services Committee but also the Foreign Affairs Committee, and others. We're very proud of our delegation, and when you hear-- as you will be hearing from them in the course of our visit, you will know even more why we are thank you to our delegation. And we're proud to be here with the vice president, with Mr. Wu, with other distinguished leaders who are here with you, Madam President. Thank you for your leadership.

The story of Taiwan is an inspiration to all freedom-loving people in the United States and around the world. Out of a crucible of challenge, you have forged a flourishing democracy, one of the freest in the world, proudly to be led by a woman president. That's an applause line.

[APPLAUSE]

[LAUGHS]

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

NANCY PELOSI: Taiwan has been an Island of Brazilians in the world. 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, America's solidarity with Taiwan is crucial, and that is the message we are bringing here today.

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

NANCY PELOSI: When we travel and leave the country as a congressional delegation, security to protect our people as well as global security, economy to spread prosperity in our own country and others, and governance are three principal pillars of our travel. And all three areas we have great cooperation and friendship with Taiwan, and we value that. I just do want to mention and congratulate Taiwan for your governance of the COVID issue, the COVID pandemic, your model to the world in terms of the cooperation of the people and the success of your initiatives. Congratulations, Madam President. Congratulations to the people of Taiwan for following the lead and suggesting their own proposals.

Today, the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy. America's determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains ironclad, and we are grateful to the partnership of the people of Taiwan in this mission. I'm very grateful to receive this award. I'm grateful to you, Madam President, to the people for their enduring friendship. I'm very blessed, as are my colleagues, with many Taiwan Americans, who are very excited about our visit. And in fact, when I came before in '99, I came with them, and we learned a lot.

And that's what we came to do, to participate in the Asian Pacific Initiative in a way that is appropriate for Taiwan to be successful, whether in trade, security, et cetera, and to do so in a way that opens many more possibilities. We came here to listen, to learn. And what do you know? I got this beautiful, beautiful, beautiful award, the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon. Thank you, Madam President. Thank you so much.

[APPLAUSE]

INTERPRETER: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Madam President, Mr. Vice President, Madam Speaker, Distinguished Members of the House of Representatives, please come together for a group photo.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: We now welcome all guests to join us for a group photo.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: This concludes this [AUDIO OUT]

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