VP Lai, U.S. speaker Pelosi discuss security, China in virtual meeting

Vice President Lai Ching-te (???) discussed security and economic issues as well as China with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a virtual meeting Friday, according to Taiwan's envoy to Washington.

The bilateral talks lasted for about 30 minutes and the discussions touched on security issues, economic affairs, and shared values, Hsiao Bi-khim (???), Taiwan's representative to the U.S., told reporters after the meeting.

Hsiao mentioned that Pelosi had expressed concern over the status and security in the Taiwan Strait as well as human rights in China ahead of Beijing's hosting of the Winter Olympic Games in early February.

In what China called a "self-directed political farce," the U.S. is staging a "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing Games. Unlike a traditional boycott, U.S. athletes will still attend the games but they will not be joined by government officials, with Washington citing "genocide and crimes against humanity" in the Xinjiang region.

According to Hsiao, Pelosi also voiced her support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization's (WHO) activities and mechanisms, saying that she had previously conveyed her views directly to the WHO's director-general over the matter.

Pelosi recognized Taiwan's efforts to fight against COVID-19 and said Taiwan should not be excluded from the WHO, Hsiao said, adding that the conversation between Lai and Pelosi was "relaxed" and "amicable."

The meeting was held virtually shortly after Lai touched down in San Francisco at about 3:20 p.m. on Friday as a stopover on his return trip from Honduras to Taiwan.

Lai later said via Twitter that he was pleased to meet with the speaker, whom he described as "a champion of human rights and true friend to Taiwan."

"We are committed to working together to strengthen the U.S.-Taiwan partnership," Lai added.

Hsiao said that before departing for Taiwan Saturday, Lai would hold four more virtual talks with U.S. politicians to discuss COVID-19 responses and medical and economic cooperation.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel