Republican Indiana governor is latest US official to visit Taiwan

  • Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) announced his arrival in Taiwan and thanked Taiwan’s Director General of the Department of North American Affairs, Douglas Hsu, in a tweet on Sunday.
  • Holcomb led a delegation in Taiwan as part of an “economic development trip" to the self-governing island and later to South Korea.
  • “I couldn’t be more energized to spend this week building new relationships, reinforcing long time ones and strengthening key sector partnerships with Taiwan and South Korea,” Holcomb said in a statement.
  • “This week marks my second trip to South Korea as Governor, and I am also proud to be the first U.S. governor to visit Taiwan since before the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m committed to building an economy of the future with these global partners who are helping propel Indiana forward by creating tomorrow’s businesses, today.”
  • The trip came after Taiwan-based chip manufacturing company MediaTek announced its plans to open a design center in Indiana in partnership with Purdue University.
  • The Taiwan visit also came after the recent signing of the CHIPS Act, a bipartisan law that would strengthen semiconductor chip manufacturing in the U.S., on Aug. 9.

Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) recently became the latest American politician to visit Taiwan.

Holcomb confirmed his arrival and thanked Taiwan’s Director General of the Department of North American Affairs, Douglas Hsu, in a tweet on Sunday. Holcomb arrived with a delegation, including Indiana’s commerce secretary, as part of an “economic development trip” to Taiwan and South Korea.

I couldn’t be more energized to spend this week building new relationships, reinforcing long time ones and strengthening key sector partnerships with Taiwan and South Korea,” Holcomb said in a statement.

“This week marks my second trip to South Korea as Governor, and I am also proud to be the first U.S. governor to visit Taiwan since before the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. “I’m committed to building an economy of the future with these global partners who are helping propel Indiana forward by creating tomorrow’s businesses, today.”

The trip came after Taiwan-based chip manufacturing company MediaTek announced its plans to open a design center in Indiana in partnership with Purdue University. Holcomb’s Taiwan visit also came after the recent signing of the CHIPS Act, a bipartisan law that would strengthen semiconductor chip manufacturing in the U.S., on Aug. 9.

The unprecedented economic progress Indiana has secured this year doesn’t happen without like-minded partners here and around the world,” Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers said. “A shared commitment to innovation and collaboration is key to continuing our success, and I’m thrilled to spend the week strengthening that collaboration with our friends in Taiwan and South Korea.”

Holcomb will meet with Taiwanese government officials, academic leaders and business leaders before traveling to South Korea later this week.

The recent string of delegation visits to Taiwan was kicked off by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) when she headed a Congressional delegation around Asia with a controversial stopover in Taiwan on Aug. 2. Pelosi’s controversial visit to the island evoked strong reactions from China long after her trip concluded.

Tension in the region was stoked once again on Aug. 14 when a delegation of American lawmakers led by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials to discuss bilateral relations, regional security and trade and investments, among other topics.

Featured Image via Governor Eric Holcomb

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