Calvin Chen-huan Ho — the director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago — was at the statehouse and thanked legislators for the support. “I’m also very happy today to thank the Iowa friend for your support of the Republican of China (Taiwan) which is a democratic country of 23 million people that also shares common values of human rights, freedom and rule of law,” Chen-huan said.
Taipei is the capitol of Taiwan. Taiwan hopes to join the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal and the resolutions passed in the Iowa House and Senate today (Thursday) noted Taiwan’s status as the world’s 19th largest economy. Taiwan and Iowa signed a sister state relationship in 1989. “We highly appreciate, highly value your support, your efforts and friendship,” Chen-huan said.
Taiwan split from mainland China in 1949 during a civil war that hasn’t formally ended. Concerns are growing in Taiwan that China will attempt to reclaim the island by force. None of that was directly mentioned today at the statehouse.