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China-savvy Republican takes helm of U.S. House panel on Asia

2015-01-19 08:47:26       source:Japan Today

January 19, 2015


"The new leader of the House panel overseeing U.S. policy to the Asia-Pacific is a rarity in Congress: a deeply conservative Republican who shuns isolationism, favors closer ties with Asia and stands poised to praise as well as criticize China — and even do it in Mandarin.


Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona is part of the tea party movement that advocates small government, a tough line on immigration and opposes President Barack Obama at every turn.


But Salmon also brings a unique perspective on Asia. He spent two years as a Mormon missionary in Taiwan, where he learned Chinese language. He says he has visited mainland China more than 40 times, and during an earlier three-term stint in Congress that ended in 2000, he met with China’s then-leader to help secure the release of U.S. college researcher accused of stealing state secrets."


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