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Rep. Kim

Washington DC – Indo-Pacific Subcommittee Chairwoman Young Kim (CA-40) returned from a bipartisan congressional delegation (CODEL) she led with Representatives Andy Barr (KY-06), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), and Jonathan Jackson (IL-01) to Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia in the Indo-Pacific.

The members worked to strengthen our alliances and partnerships, assess the People’s Republic of China’s buildup in the South China Sea, build resiliency in the First Island Chain, discuss human rights, and conduct oversight over U.S. government programming in Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

“Strengthening our relationships with our allies and partners in Southeast Asia is essential to counter growing threats from our adversaries and maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific. As Chairwoman of the Indo-Pacific Subcommittee, I was proud to lead this bipartisan CODEL to show our partners in Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia that we will work with them to keep the Indo-Pacific free and open,” said Chairwoman Kim. “We had productive conversations with leaders from these countries on the rising threats in the South China Sea, our shared security priorities, and promoting free trade and human rights. I look forward to sharing our conversations with my other colleagues in Congress and am hopeful these discussions will lead to bipartisan collaboration to ensure America continues to lead in the Indo-Pacific.”

In Thailand, the members checked in with U.S. Embassy operations in Bangkok and met with Thai Cabinet Officials including Thailand Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and Thailand Deputy Permanent Secretary for Defense Gen. Sittiporn Musikasin, as well as the Thai Chamber of Commerce. Discussions with Thai officials centered around opportunities for more economic cooperation and supply chain resiliency. The delegation also visited Tham Him Temporary Shelter, one of the nine shelters in Thailand that house displaced persons from Burma, to see firsthand the food aid, healthcare, and education services the U.S. government has provided these displaced persons.

In the Philippines, the delegation met with U.S. Embassy Manila,the Philippines Coast Guard, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, Secretary of National Defense Teodoro, and various Philippine legislators and U.S. business leaders. The members discussed the historic ties between the U.S. and the Philippines, and ways to strengthen our security cooperation in particular. The members also conducted oversight over the U.S. military’s freedom of navigation flights over contested waters in the South China Sea, met with U.S. veterans in Clark, and toured Clark Veterans Cemetery. Read more HERE and HERE.

In Indonesia, the members met with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, and Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Affairs Airlangga Hartarto. They also met with Indonesian legislators who are part of the US-Indonesia Friendship Caucus, where they spoke about the close relationship between our two countries and ways to strengthen political ties with Indonesia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The members also visited the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, where the U.S. government has set up an “American Spaces” office to promote people to people exchanges. Finally, Rep. Kim gave remarks at the Super Garuda Shield kickoff reception, which celebrates Indonesia’s annual multilateral military exercise with the U.S. and other allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.

Photos courtesy of the Office of Congresswoman Young Kim can be found HERE.

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