By Seth Daniel
Taiwan was not on her mind.
Then Councillor Judith Garcia got a phone call from the U.S. State Department, and now she has about a week to prepare to represent the State of Massachusetts on an official U.S. diplomatic mission to Taiwan.
“I literally got the phone call out of the blue from the State Department and had, literally again, 30 seconds to decide,” she said. “I thought quick and I had no obligations that held me back from doing it and so I said ‘yes.’”
Garcia is one of 40 elected officials nationwide chosen by the U.S. State Department to leave on the mission to Taiwan. She will leave next Thursday, Oct. 27.
The trip lasts one week.
“I have just one week to prepare and learn everything I can about Taiwan,” she said. “There are some interesting things about it because it is independent, but China does not recognize it as an independent nation.”
Relations between Taiwan and China have been strained since the 1950s, though the United States has been one of the island nation’s most important allies and protectors.
Accompanying her in representing Massachusetts will be Quincy City Councillor Nina Liang. Previous members from Massachusetts include Boston Council President Michelle Wu.