TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday morning (April 5) met with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Greater Los Angeles, marking a major milestone in Taiwan-U.S. relations.
At 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, McCarthy greeted Tsai at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The meeting is the final leg of Tsai's visit to Latin American diplomatic allies Guatemala and Belize and took place despite threats from China to take "resolute measures" to guard its sovereignty.
There are 18 other members of Congress expected to take part in the closed-door meeting with Tsai. Notable representatives present include Mike Gallagher, chair of a new House select committee on China, and committee ranking member Raja Krishnamoorthi.
McCarthy greets Tsai Ing-wen at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. (DW photo)
This marks the third time a standing house speaker has met with a president from Taiwan since Washington broke diplomatic relations with Taipei in 1979. This is also the first time a Taiwanese president has met a house speaker in the U.S. since the diplomatic split.
The first such meeting occurred when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich met with former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in Taipei in 1997. The second instance took place in August 2022, when Tsai met with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also in Taipei.
Tsai walks with McCarthy outside entrance to Reagan Library. (Reuters photo)
In a tweet released at 10:07 a.m., McCarthy posted a photo of himself sitting and chatting with Tsai in front of a fireplace at the library. In the post, McCarthy wrote that the friendship between the U.S. and Taiwanese has "never been stronger" and added that it is his honor to welcome Tsai to the Reagan Library.
Tsai replied with a tweet of her own at 11:01 a.m. in which she posted a similar photo and thanked McCarthy for his "warm welcome." She wrote that it was a pleasure to return to the library, having previously visited it in 2018, and described the meeting as an effort to "strengthen the bond" between Taiwan and the U.S.
Thank you @SpeakerMcCarthy for the warm welcome. It's a pleasure to be back at the @Reagan_Library & enjoying the #California sunshine as we work to strengthen the bond between #Taiwan & the #US. pic.twitter.com/L8iBissMoH— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) April 5, 2023