Twisted Sister City

Irvine shanghais Taiwan

"There was no effort on [the part of the Chinese officials] to exert pressure on us," Krom told reporter Jean Pasco for her June 20 story in the Los Angeles Times. "We haven't bent to anyone."

Members of Orange County's fiercely anti-Communist Asian community didn't buy Krom's spin. Stan Yang of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, called the agreement "anti-Taiwan and anti-Taoyuan."

"The majority of Taiwanese Americans living in Irvine would rather distance themselves from the totalitarian Communist regime, given its corrupt and notorious human rights record and its aggression to overtly take over a democratic Taiwan," Yang wrote in a June 22 letter to Krom. "We urge you to rescind the agreement and to side with those who support and practice democracy, instead of those who work against it."

Krom (left): "mystified"
Krom (left): "mystified"

But Krom pretends she doesn't understand the fuss—or perhaps really doesn't grasp the seriousness of the debacle. Despite prohibitive language that would have delighted Mao, the contract only "might be interpreted to constrain" Irvine's elected officials, according to Krom, who is asking for re-election this November.

If you know anything about Krom, you won't be surprised to learn that she has found a villain for "the confusion that has been created." She doesn't blame herself, Agran, Pinto, King, Larenne or Chinese officials. It's the media. Stupid.

A version of this story originally appeared on The Blotter at


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