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Pelosi says U.S. will uphold Taiwan's security and freedom

2021-12-03
Focus Taiwan
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President Tsai Ing-wen speaking at the 2021 Open Parliament Forum
President Tsai Ing-wen speaking at the 2021 Open Parliament Forum

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the U.S. is committed to upholding the freedom, security, and human rights of the people of Taiwan, in a letter sent ahead of the 2021 Open Parliament Forum.

Pelosi, the highest-ranking member in the U.S. House of Representatives, sent the letter to Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) to wish Taiwan success in holding the two-day forum, which began Thursday and will run until Friday.

In the letter, addressed to You using his formal title as "president of the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China (Taiwan)," Pelosi also said collaboration between governments on COVID-19 pandemic responses, and promotion of pro-democracy parliaments were "essential as we strive to advance our shared values and interests."

The two-day event, entitled "Open Parliament in a Post-COVID Context: Global Examples of Resilience and Planning for 2022 and Beyond," has been organized by Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Legislative Yuan, and the National Democratic Institute, a U.S.-headquartered nonprofit.

In her opening address at the forum, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Taiwan was on the frontlines of the global contest between liberal democracy and authoritarianism.

She added that the country was willing to share its experience in combating authoritarianism with all democratic partners to jointly safeguard shared democratic values.

Tsai said that she expected the forum to enhance exchanges between different democracies and to further strengthen collective resilience.

Also present at the forum were Valerie Woods, speaker of Belize's House of Representatives, Mexican Senator Nadia Navarro Acevedo, as well as a 10-member parliamentary delegation from the three Baltic states, which included lawmakers Matas Maldeikis, Jānis Vucāns, and Juri Jaanson of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, respectively.

A total of 37 experts, scholars, and parliamentarians from 21 countries including Argentina, Australia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, Sri Lanka, the U.K., and the U.S. will also take part in the forum.

The majority of attendees will take part via video link.

Participants are expected to address issues such as COVID-19 responses and parliamentary openness; emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges in open parliament efforts; recommendations on disinformation; and an open parliament's oversight role to the executive branch.

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