Excerpted From Briefing Room: Republican lawmakers have praised president-elect Donald Trump following the news that he spoke on the phone with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) applauded Trump for “making a strong statement” with the historic conversation.
“I commend [President-elect] Trump for reaching out to the democratically-elected President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen,” Salmon said in a statement to The Hill.
Salmon chairs the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. He is a former missionary in Taiwan, and attended the recent inauguration of the new Taiwanese president.
“America has always been a champion of democratic values and individual freedoms, and I applaud the President-elect for making a strong statement in support of those values around the world,” he added.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a Trump loyalist who also serves on the Foreign Affairs panel, downplayed the phone call in a statement to The Hill.
“President-elect Trump recognizes that reaching out to every world leader is a critical component of an effective foreign policy,” Meadows said. “It’s not policy, it’s a phone call.”
In a statement released Friday night, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) said Trump’s move “reaffirms our commitment to the only democracy on Chinese soil.”
“America’s policy toward Taiwan is governed by the Taiwan Relations Act, under which we maintain close ties with Taiwan and support its democratic system,” Cotton said. “I commend President-elect Trump for his conversation with President Tsai Ing-wen.”
Cotton added the he has met with Taiwan’s leader and he is “confident she expressed to the president-elect the same desire for closer relations with the United States.”
House GOP Policy Committee Chairman Luke Messer (R-Ind.), a member of the leadership team, said he “loved” Trump’s bold move.
“Taiwan is a great friend of America and I see nothing wrong with the president-elect letting the world see that,” Messer said in an interview with The Hill. “To me, it’s ironic that some who call Obama enlightened for his outreach to murderous communist thugs in Cuba would now criticize Trump for acknowledging Taiwan.”
“I have visited Taiwan twice in recent years,” he added. “And anyone who has knows that Taiwan is a democratic republic, a great trade partner with America, and a nation that values freedom and the rule of law.”
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) took to Twitter to praise the president-elect.
“Plaudits to President-elect Trump for his historic phone call to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Strong message to China. New day in Asia,” he wrote.
Plaudits to President-elect Trump for his historic phone call to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Strong message to China. New day in Asia.
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) December 3, 2016