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In September, ACYPL welcomed a delegation of seven young leaders from Taiwan to the United States in conjunction with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO). Among the delegates were representatives of four Taiwanese political parties, a journalist, and an NGO worker representing Taiwan’s indigenous populations. During their time in the US, the group visited Washington, DC and Boise, Idaho, comparing and contrasting the political policies and opinions held by constituents in each locale.
In Washington, DC, the delegation attended a day of foreign policy briefings with the US State Department, the Brookings Institution, and the Heritage Foundation to discuss the future of US foreign policy in Asia and Taiwan, specifically. The group also dug deeper into US policies on climate change, education reform, and congressional campaign strategy in meetings at the Sierra Club, the National Education Association, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. After analyzing a sampling of federal views, the delegation was eager to explore the above policies from the Idaho state and community perspectives.
Immediately upon arriving in Idaho, the delegates were received for dinner at the home of Idaho Governor Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter. Additional encounters included meetings with members of the Boise City Council, the Mayor of Boise, Native American student and community leaders from Boise State University, and the Idaho House of Representatives Minority Leader. The delegation also toured companies rooted in Idaho’s agricultural sector, such as the J.R. Simplot Company and Symms Fruit Ranch. These gatherings presented a unique occasion to learn more about how citizens of Idaho, whether elected leaders, agriculture manufacturers, or college students, view their state’s legislative process and economic livelihood.
Outside of formal meetings, the delegates took full advantage of cultural activities in both cities, including tours of the monuments and Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, an energetic Boise State University football tailgate, and even getting lost in an Idaho corn maze. These outings offered the group further opportunities to engage with US citizens from diverse backgrounds and experiences, reinforcing the important role that community plays in the politics and policies of both the US and Taiwan.