Sunday, January 10, 2010

China's Increasing Clout in the US

As I don't have a physical Washington Post paper, I can't verify- but no reason to doubt the Taipei Times, but the Taipei Times reports that the WaPo's Saturday issue had a front-page story on China's increased lobbying efforts in Washington, to the extent that previous congressman that were pro-Taiwan, are now leaning towards China. Here's the link to the actual WaPo story, "China's lobbying efforts yield new influence, openness on Capitol Hill."

It's quite sad that our politicians are quite easily moved in one direction:

Del. Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, a nonvoting, 11-term member from American Samoa, is the influential chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment and for years was considered a solid backer of Taiwan. But over the past year, the Democrat has watered down or killed pro-Taiwan legislation and resolutions.

Faleomavaega partly credited China's improved lobbying for the shift. "Our friendliest allies -- Germany, Great Britain, France and Japan -- know how to work the system," he said. "China is just trying to catch up."

Because of this, I think writing to your congressman and representatives that represent your county/district is still very important. I have done so on numerous times, and have received responses from them. While it may not seem like it will do anything, you never really know. Even more sad, Rep. Rick Larsen from Washington is one of the pro-China representatives, leading a "60-member U.S.-China working group."

Larsen is pretty much the representative for anywhere above Everett and northward, and an incumbent since 2000. So voting him is out is going to be quite tough, but he's up for re-election in 2010 I believe. Write to him if you are in his district!

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