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tv   Rep. Gregory Meeks on Indo- Pacific Economy Military Relations  CSPAN  August 30, 2022 6:48pm-7:12pm EDT

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next, new york democratic congressman gregory meeks speaking to the washington post about his recent visit to taiwan with nancy pelosi. he called the relationship between the u.s. and china tents, after the trip. the representative serves as the chair of the house foreign affairs committee. included nancy pelosi that flew into taiwan. >> joining us today is the chair of the foreign relations committee new york democrat gregory meeks. thank you for joining us today. to our audience, feel free to join in this conversation by tweeting at us at post live. i want to start with the big news of the date. what happened last night, the
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fbi search of mar-a-lago. what is your response to this? is it like what the republicans are saying, government overreach? rep. meeks: no, we have all set republicans have done investigations. member hillary clinton for months and months with nothing to show for it. we know that no one politically was involved in this. there had to be various approvals from the grand jury and a judge. we have always said no one is above the law. the lawyers would generally have to have probable cause for a judge to sign a warrant to do something of this nature. what has to be done is judicial
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process and it's moving along. there has to be probable cause for a warrant to be granted. >> want to ask you about the reason we ask you on this show is about her trip to taiwan with house speaker nancy pelosi last week. the reaction that it has gotten. tell me first, when you were in taiwan, what did you hear from the taiwanese? were they concerned about your visit especially given china's threats and escalation before and since then? rep. meeks: not at all, they were so happy for us to be there. they thanked us. there are over 250,000 people in taiwan tracking our flight. when we landed, the greetings were fantastic. the streets were lined with individuals as we left the airport going to our hotel.
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one of the largest skyscrapers they were saying we love you nancy pelosi thank you for being here. around our hotel people with signs welcoming us. the people of taiwan were very appreciative of us being there. we met with the president and members of their legislative body. they were thank you and thanked us for being there. it was a warm reception. no regrets. they were very happy we were there. there is no question, we all know about china's aggression, but the people of taiwan wanted to know that their friends are with them and they demonstrated just that by the reception they gave us. >> some people have expressed concern including the australian prime minister. some diplomats have said that this could escalate tensions with china, increase the chances
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perhaps of even war. what is your reaction to that? is that your assessment of what could happen? rep. meeks: i have traveled to taiwan previously. nothing we did was different. other speakers have traveled to taiwan. there is nothing that was done on the united states part, the only one who wanted to change the status was beijing. there was nothing that we did, so a clear answer is china as can be predicted wanted to intimidate. they will continue to do that often on.
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when our friends are threatened as taiwan has been, that's when you need your friends to be with you. we knew it was going on in that regard and we wanted our friends to know that we're there we are not going to desert them. i will say to you that the other countries we visited in the region. malaysia, south korea, japan, singapore, they were happy that we were there and we stopped in taiwan also. >> do you think that china's actions and words are just to intimidate and not that they would follow through on? >> there are some things i cannot discussed. we have had a lot of classified meetings. but i will say i don't think china other than having the talk and doing the unprecedented
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missile tests, i think that those threatening moves is an attempt to intimidate. we were not intimidated and our delegation and speaker pelosi is not intimidated by beijing and president xi jinping. >> did the biden administration try to persuade you for making that stop? what did they say to you? >> president biden is very aware being a former senator of the difference between the legislative bodies and executive.
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therefore, he knew that we had a responsibility and we should do what we thought was right. i'm appreciative of president biden in the sense that the authorization and protections that were needed were all to make sure the trip was a safe trip. he did not say to me nancy pelosi anyone because he knew we had a responsibility to do it. he also realizes that he supported us. and did support us during and after the trip. i think president biden did the responsible thing and he has been the former chair of the foreign affairs committee himself. it's important that we stand with our friends and allies.
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>> how would you assess the relationship between china and the u.s. right now? rep. meeks: it is very tense at the moment. it is tense on the taiwanese straight and as a result, we have things we still need to talk about. and work together on like clement. with to make sure the conversation continues. i visited china several times. i will continue to have dialogues and conversations with the ambassador when they come to visit me as they did just before we left on this trip. we need to have these conversations with them and we will continue to have these conversations with them. there is no question that is clearly a tense moment on the taiwanese straight and that's why i also think that it was very important for us to be
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there and to stress that what we want is the status quo. we are trying to change anything. we are not promoting anything other than that, we just want the status quo there and china should note not to force the change things. that's where we are. we have things we have to work on and we disagree on trying to change the status of taiwan. >> a question from a viewer asks former president trump was very aggressive -- i'm sorry would you favor putting a u.s. naval base in taiwan? if not, how do you deter chinese aggression must mark? rep. meeks: we always said we would give the taiwanese the defensive weapons they need to protect themselves.
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in my committee, there are several bells we are putting in place and provisions that we have signed into law like we want the taiwan peace and stability act. the taiwan reassurance act to expedite getting them the different equipment they need to defend themselves. we will stand by. i don't think we need to do anything taiwan when we spoke with the president they are ready to defend themselves. they are not intimidated by china at all. we will continue to do those things we have done all along to make sure that we are cooperating with taiwan in the face of beijing aggression.
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>> i want to move on to another trip you just took. you were in columbia. for the swearing in of the new president they are. and about leftist. why did you attend that inauguration? rep. meeks: i was there with administrator samantha power as the official congressional delegation. they are probably the most important country to us on the hemisphere. we have great close working relationships. we have democracy here at work. the president that was elected by the people of columbia. the clean transparent election democracy which is what we talk about all the time. there are plenty of areas of which we will continue to work
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with them. we talked about it listening to his inauguration speech and for me personally, one who has been invested in columbia for over 22 years watching the progress they have made having had a relationship with every president since i have been a member of congress it is important. the focus that he has on trying to make sure that violence has ended in columbia, that violence from the guerrilla groups and narco traffickers, a new idea that he may have that we are working on and the conversation that we had with him which was i think a very good conversation and will continue.
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it was extremely important for us to be there to let him know that for the united states, we want to continue the relationship that we have had for over 200 years. >> are there any concerns that there are more and more countries in south america that are electing far left leaders? you have columbia, peru, venezuela. is that going to be a problem? rep. meeks: the people can state the kind of government they want. did you hear the same questions when the presidents elected were far right? the people have a voice and they are trying to move forward in that regard. my thing is democracy that's what we talk about. we don't want someone is going to come in because right now it's a struggle between democracy and autocratic
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government. the people's voice was heard. as long as that occurs whether it someone to the left or right, in america we elected a right-wing president six years ago. then there's another election. the president we had still doesn't acknowledge he lost. as the kind of person you don't want. you want one following the democratic process. the ones that are undemocratic are the ones we want to call out not to work with. the ones that are undemocratic. here you had an example of a clear-cut clean election with the will of the people. you have to acknowledge the voice of the people and work together because we are promoting democracy.
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>> there is some concern that with the leftward movement of some of these governments, there could be a spike in attempts to emigrate to the united states from south americans. is that a concern that the united states should have and is there a plan in case that does happen? rep. meeks: i don't think so. people will to migrate to the united states are generally under authoritarian government. they are under situations where there's crime, murder, killing, homicide, no peace. they don't want to leave their homeland. they are forced to leave. in instances like columbia where clearly areas people have been
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killed and moved around those of african descent on the pacific coast and what we have talked about moving forward is that they are included in the peace process and usaid going into those areas working with the government in colombia to make sure we can reduce the violence is there. the number one part of the inauguration speech that the president was talking about was ending the violence. stopping the war. trying to figure out how to make investments in communities that have been left behind. trying to work together with climate because the climate and people coming in have been the ones that hurt them. the way that we do that is to
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work collectively with the government. we have a great plan, this is what happened with me. we started with plan colombia. when you look at the big cities, they weren't safe. they were being run by narco traffickers. the united states and colombia came together to figure out for the municipal cities how they could take them back and make sure people were safe. when i first went there, you couldn't go certain places because of fear of kidnapping. now you go to the cities and other places, there is tourism now. what was left out was the farmlands, the agriculture come at the pacific coast.
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half of the plan for peace and colombia was done. now you get to the second half. that's what the president was talking about to make sure those who have been left out or included. talking to those people and and talking -- and working with the united states the same kind of formula we worked out for colombia we should work out with those in the rural areas. >> it's going to be the 10th anniversary that a journalist has been held captive in syria. is the united states doing enough to ensure his freedom and ensure he remains alive? rep. meeks: you never do enough until they get home.
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we work in a bipartisan way there. we sent letters from the committee to the administration and others. we want all of our prisoners being held to be released so they can come home. are we doing enough? you are never doing enough until they come home. keep working at it. the administration is focused on that. you see that with russia also. the people being held hostage. we have others in venezuela. we have work to do and i will never be satisfied until each and everyone is back home to their families. >> we are out of time. thank you so much for joining us today we appreciated. >> thank you for having me.
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>> thank you for watching. you can find the transcript of this program on old reagan signed a law --making it -- undocumented immigrants. the immigration reform act established a system for verifying the legal status of the ways. -- former commissioner of the immigration and naturalization
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is covered 19. -- if and i underline if covid-19 leaked from the wuhan lab it would be a laboratory created virus and scientist have not yet and are unlikely to reveal. i maintain the techniques that nih funded -- enhance pathogens may have or could have been used to create covid-19. the american people deserve to know how this pandemic started and know if the nih funded research that caused this pandemic. >> you can watch the senate subcommittee hearing on virus research funding tonight. the panel is investigating the nato function -- involving the genetic modification for viruses and pathogens it starts at 9 p.m. on c-span. and watch on our mobile video app c-span now or online at >> hello everyone, and welcome
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