The US stands with Taiwan, US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson told Representative to the US Alexander Yui (俞大㵢) on Tuesday in the first official meeting between the two.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Taiwanese people,” Johnson told reporters as he welcomed Yui to Washington before a half-hour, closed-door meeting.
It was the first public meeting between the two after Yui, a former envoy to the EU and deputy foreign minister, took up the post in Washington last month.
The diplomat filled the vacancy left by Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), who became the running mate of Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential candidate in Saturday’s election.
Johnson became speaker in late October last year after weeks of debate in the Republican-led House, starting with the dumping of former speaker Kevin McCarthy.
“We certainly want to help in the defense of Taiwan, which is very important,” Johnson told reporters. “We want to deter the Chinese Communist Party and any military provocations.”
The US Congress “stands with our friends, and stands for democracy and the principles you all try to advance,” he said, adding that Taipei and Washington have an “important relationship and we all want to strengthen that.”
Yui thanked Johnson for his and the US Congress’ longstanding bipartisan support for Taiwan, in particular for Washington’s commitments to enhancing the nation’s security, safeguarding its democratic system and promoting a bilateral economic partnership.
Robust Taiwan-US ties are based on shared values such as freedom and democracy, and Yui looks forward to “further strengthen[ing] our rock-solid friendship,” he said.
Following the closed-door meeting, Yui told Taiwanese reporters on Capitol Hill that his visit was a “courtesy call” and that the two sides exchanged views on key issues.
Asked if Johnson asked about Taiwan’s presidential and legislative elections, Yui said the speaker hoped they would proceed smoothly.
Asked if he invited Johnson to visit Taiwan, Yui said he did not.
Johnson assured him that he was a longtime friend of Taiwan and stressed the bipartisan support for Taiwan in the Congress, Yui said.
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