Anaheim city council stripped a commissioner of his title for comments he made after refusing to partner with a Chinese city.
Council unanimously voted to remove Larry Larson’s commissioner status from the sister cities commission during an April 27, 2021 city council meeting.
“They’re going to destroy me and my reputation, kick me off sister cities—which you voted to put me on—because I said, ‘China virus,’” Larsen told council.
The issue began when the sister city commission, which works to develop Anaheim’s cultural and economic relationships with international cities, considered partnering with Pudong, China on Feb. 22, 2021.
Pudong is a district within Shanghai where the Shanghai Disney Resort is located. Anaheim and Pudong have a “friendly city” relationship, but are not full-fledged sister cities.
Larsen said he was shocked by the commission’s consideration with a Chinese city, given how the CCP had lied for weeks about having the virus before informing the World Health Organization.
“I am stunned that anybody in Anaheim would consider such a thing,” Larsen said.
During the Feb. 22 meeting, commissioner Dara Maleki said: “I don’t know who our bigger enemy is—foreign or the domestic. We’ve got a pandemic; we’ve got a serious virus.”
Said Larsen: “It’s called the China Virus. The City of Anaheim is in the tank, and we’re going to invite them into our house?”
Chair Taline Cole interjected: “Larry, I’m going to stop you there. This isn’t the place to have political conversations.”
Larsen fired back: “I’m blown away that this city has taken that invite from China. And now we’re going to smack happy with these people? I’m absolutely stunned.”
Commissioner Dara Maleki said the commission chooses sister cities based upon similar industries, such as the Disney Resort.
However, Pudong has not made contact with Anaheim for about six years “because of Mayor [Tom] Tait and his relationship with the Dalai Lama,” Larsen said.
“The minute Mayor Tait was out of office, here comes Pudong knocking on the door.”
BY JACK BRADLEY