Thursday, March 26, 2009

House Colleagues Smack Down Eni

In Congress, committee and subcommittee chairmen are kings who usually get their way on legislation under the jurisdiction of their panel. Whenever there is controversy, the House leadership usually tries to work it out quietly to save embarrassing a colleague. But that is not always the case.

Less than 24 hours after Faleomavaega amended a bipartisan resolution supporting Taiwan on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), the full House reversed the wandering delegate and restored the resolution to its original language, thus delivering a stinging blow to a senior colleague.

Read all about it here in the Taipei Times. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2009/03/26/2003439425

Most people here on island are unlikely to learn about this humiliation to Eni because Samoa News, where Eni's sister-in-law is a top editor, is not likely to report it. They will wait for a press release from Eni's office and, of course, that press release will not be written. But anyone who has access to the Internet--which means all of you reading this--needs only Google "Faleomavaega" and "Taiwan" and click on "news" and "blogs." This story is all over the news and blogosphere, with some bloggers outright labeling Eni as a lapdog for the Communist Chinese.

Those blogs that follow Taiwan issues are quick to note that this is not the first time Faleomavaega has been awkward in his approach to Taiwan issues. One blogger wrote "Faleomavaega has a history of klutziness on Taiwan issues. I've blogged on Faleomavaega's service to Beijing previously in a post on this Nelson Report that includes a very uninformed letter from him on the Taiwan-China issue. It's a shame that a person in an important policymaking position has picked the wrong side in the struggle for democracy.

Another wrote: Good work FAPA (Formosan Association for Public Affairs). It just goes to show that vigilance and effort will be rewarded and proves to the shoulder-shruggers, the nay-sayers, the historical relativists and the capitulationists that YES WE CAN make a difference!. But why oh why is the Democrat's (Eni's) record on Taiwan so abysmal?

What particularly miffed Taiwan supporters was Eni's decision to delete the word "cornerstone" from the resolution. Taiwan views the TRA as the cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan relations, while Beijing would prefer Washington to view three U.S.-PRC communiques as the cornerstone of U.S. "One-China" policy.

On learning about Faleomavaega's actions, FAPA launched a campaign to get the word “cornerstone” put back into the resolution. FAPA alerted members of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus to the significance of the change, members of FAPA's professionals group sent hundreds of e-mails protesting the change and association officials talked directly to influential Foreign Affairs Committee officials.

As a result, the resolution was changed back to its original wording and, to send Eni an unmistakable message of rebuke, several House members deliberately used “cornerstone” in their Floor remarks of support. To complete Eni's humiliation, the chairman of the Full Committee, fellow Democrat Howard Berman (D-CA), offered the revised resolution himself and said “I am confident that the Taiwan Relations Act will remain the cornerstone of our relationship with Taiwan.”

When this year's Congressional power ratings are released, do not expect Eni to move up any notches.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks for this nice post 111213

Anonymous said...

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