Reps. Keicher & Weaver Send Forceful Response to Chinese Consulate over Support of Taiwanese Democracy

State Representative Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore), the House Republican Conference Chairman, and State Representative Travis Weaver (R-Edwards) recently sent a strongly worded response to the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China of Chicago, Huang Liming, reaffirming their support of freedom and democracy in Taiwan. Keicher and Weaver, along with State Representative Will Davis (D- Hazel Crest), are the sponsors of House Resolution 64, which reaffirms the commitment to the strengthening and deepening of the sister-state ties between the State of Illinois and Taiwan.

In an effort to prevent the passage of HR 64, Consul Huang sent a pointed letter to Davis, Keicher and Weaver dated March 28, 2023. However, that same day the resolution was adopted with unanimous support in the Illinois House of Representatives and garnered numerous additional sponsors prior to adoption.

Keicher, who also serves as the co-chair of the Taiwan Friendship Caucus in the Illinois General Assembly, and Weaver did not mince words in their response to Consul Huang’s effort to interfere in the sovereign ability of the Illinois General Assembly to set policy for the state of Illinois.

“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has built a government based on manipulating global rules and standards on economics and trade, violating human rights, and coercing countries around the world through practices including the theft of intellectual property, predatory lending, and military overreach. This is a legacy of subjugation, intimidation, and lack of respect for personal freedoms,” stated Keicher and Weaver in the letter.

“It is with this framing that we recognize the foreign policy and diplomatic positions of the United States of America come from the federal government and include the “One China” policy, recognition of that policy by our Federal Government does not allow your government to assert policy positions over duly elected representatives of our sovereign, democratic institutions, including the Illinois General Assembly.  

“We would also highlight that House Resolution 64 continues to reaffirm the current and unchanged federal foreign policy of the United States on both the Taiwan Relations Act and the One China policy. It is inappropriate for you to interfere in the actions of a sovereign state within the U.S. In the United States, our system of federalism allows state governments to represent their constituents.  Many of our constituents remain extremely concerned about the liberty of the people of Taiwan and the efforts by the government of the People’s Republic of China to unilaterally change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.

“It is for these reasons, and in our opinion as duly and freely elected Representatives in the Illinois General Assembly where our interest lies in representing the concerns of our constituents to the best of our ability, we reject your attempt to assert your policies of dominion over our ability, autonomy, and authority to legislate in the State of Illinois. We stand resolutely aligned with the principles outlined in House Resolution 64.”

As Keicher and Weaver noted in their response to Consul Huang, The Chinese Communist Party has regularly gone outside global norms in their efforts to assert power outside of China. Recent reporting alleges that the Chinese government is actively using secret police forces inside foreign countries, even in New York City, as reported by the Washington Post and others, to police Chinese citizens living legally in those countries.

Keicher and Weaver said they felt compelled to respond forcefully to the Chinese Consulate as China continues to break international norms, its increasingly aggressive posture toward Taiwan and the need to stand up for freedom and democracy.

For the complete text of HR 64, click here. The complete letter received from the Chinese Consulate, as well as their complete response, may be found below.