|發表於: 星期五 十月 16, 2009 5:15 am 文章主題: Taiwan loses key ally in US House
|Taiwan loses key ally in US House
‘GREATLY MISSED’: Finding someone who has similar access to the
president’s ear on matters pertaining to Taiwan — as Robert Wexler did —
will be very difficult
By William Lowther
STAFF REPORTER, IN WASHINGTON
Friday, Oct 16, 2009, Page 3
US Congressman Robert Wexler, co-chairman of the Taiwan Caucus, has
shocked Capitol Hill with the unexpected announcement that he would
resign from the House in January.
Wexler, 48, a Democrat, is to become president of the Center for Middle
East Peace and Economic Cooperation in Washington.
Insiders said that he was leaving public office for financial reasons.
“He will be greatly missed, it’s a big loss for Taiwan,” said Coen
Blaauw, executive director of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs.
Wexler was one of the original four co-chairmen when the Caucus was
first formed in 2002 and is the last remaining member of the Caucus
group known as “the founding fathers.”
Under his leadership, the Caucus has grown from its original 85 members
to its current 135 members.
“He has been one of the most vocal supporters of Taiwan in the US
Congress,” Blaauw said.
“Congressman Wexler has been energetic and passionate. He has been a
tireless fighter,” he said.
There is no obvious replacement and Caucus members are likely to wait
until Wexler actually leaves in January before electing a new co-chair.
It was Wexler who introduced the Congressional resolution saying it was
US policy that the future of Taiwan should be resolved peacefully and
democratically with the express consent of the people of Taiwan. More
recently, he has been a supporter of a US-Taiwan free-trade agreement.
Wexler made his surprise resignation announcement at a news conference
on Wednesday morning in Boca Raton, Florida. He represents Florida’s
19th District — a safe Democratic seat he could have held for as long as
he wanted it.
“Those who know me and those who have followed my career know that one
of my overriding passions has been my work on the Foreign Affairs
Committee,” he said.
He said that in his new job he would work to strengthen and preserve the
“unbreakable bond” between the US and Israel and fight for a just and
comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
Wexler has been a member of Congress for 13 years.
An early supporter of US President Barack Obama, Wexler is close to the
White House and it will be very difficult for the Taiwan Caucus to find
anyone with such ready access to the president’s ear