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California's 40th District

Sep 7, 2023 | In The News

The Ripon Advance

U.S. Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) recently led a bipartisan congressional delegation, known as a CODEL, throughout the Indo-Pacific where the group addressed issues of importance to the United States and its allies in the region.

Rep. Kim, along with U.S. Reps. Andy Barr (R-KY), Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), and Jonathan Jackson (D-IL), traveled to Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen ties, 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 those countries, according to information provided by the lawmakers.

“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,” Rep. Kim said. “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, Rep. Kim and the CODEL met with U.S. Embassy operations in Bangkok and 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 were focused on opportunities for increased economic cooperation and supply chain resiliency.

In the Philippines, the CODEL met with U.S. Embassy Manila, the Philippines Coast Guard, Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo and Secretary of National Defense Gilbert Teodoro, and other legislators and U.S. business leaders. The members also conducted oversight over the U.S. military’s freedom of navigation flights over contested waters in the South China Sea, among other meetings.

In Indonesia, the lawmakers met with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, as well as with Indonesian legislators who are part of the U.S.-Indonesia Friendship Caucus to discuss ways to strengthen political ties with Indonesia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“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,” said Rep. Kim. “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.”

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