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California's 40th District

Apr 6, 2023 | In The News

Rep. Young Kim of Anaheim Hills met with Taiwanese Vice President William Lai Thursday morning local time, just hours after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had a historic meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Kim, part of a bipartisan congressional delegation led by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, traveled to Taipei to meet with Lai, business leaders and other senior officials “to discuss ways the U.S. can strengthen our economic and defense relationship with Taiwan in the face of growing threats to the region.”

Tsai, during her stop at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, said peace and democracy in Taiwan are “facing unprecedented challenges.”

The meeting was condemned by China, which views interactions between the U.S. and Taiwanese officials as a challenge to its claim of the island territory.

In Simi Valley, McCarthy stressed it was not “our intention to escalate” tensions with China and did not rule out a future trip to Taiwan when asked by reporters. He said he would take a bipartisan delegation if he does visit.

McCaul’s group is abroad in East Asia “to discuss strengthening relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.” They already visited Japan and South Korea on the trip.

Aside from Kim and McCaul, the delegation includes Rep. Ami Bera, a Democrat who represents a Sacramento district, as well as Reps. French Hill, R-Arkansas; Madeleine Dean, D-Pennsylvania; Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pennsyvlania; Mike Waltz, R-Florida; Michael Lawler, R-New York; and Rep. Nathaniel Moran, R-Texas.

Kim, the only Southern California member on the trip, serves as chair of the Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific.

The Republican lawmaker, who has repeatedly voiced support for Taiwan and warned of “threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party,” recently said on Twitter that she will “always be a strong voice for Taiwan and our Taiwanese American community.”

Last week, in a unanimous 415-0 vote, the House passed bipartisan legislation from Kim that requires the State Department to “take actions to stop China from being classified as a developing country by international organizations.”

Kim is part of the second delegation of U.S. lawmakers this year to travel to the small island located between Japan and the Philippines. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Silicon Valley, led a congressional delegation to Taiwan in February to meet with Tsai.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who visited Taiwan last year, weighed in on Wednesday’s meeting between McCarthy and Tsai, saying it should be “commended for its leadership, its bipartisan participation and its distinguished and historic venue.”

The Orange County Register

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