The Washington Post

Is Taiwan’s government more open than ours?

Snow covered Mount Fuji is seen from Tokyo on February 16. (PHOTO: Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images) Snow-covered Mount Fuji is seen from Tokyo on Feb. 16. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

Try as we might — okay, we didn’t try that hard — we could not find out last week which Republican House members were traveling (with spouses) on the taxpayer dime to Asia this week with stops in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines and Hong Kong.

The eight-member congressional delegation (codel)  was led by House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), whose office declined requests to list which of his GOP colleagues were accompanying him on the trip.

But thanks to a report Tuesday from the Central News Agency in Taiwan, we now know the tightly held names. (Our Chinese being a wee bit rusty, we relied on Google Translate.)

But thanks to a report Tuesday from the Central News Agency in Taiwan, we now know the tightly held names. Our Chinese being a wee bit rusty, we appreciated the news agency’s identification of the lawmakers in letters we could read. But what exactly did the characters say outside those parenthetical lapses into English?

We asked Google Translate.

The “Xiluoaisi” — or Ed Royce as he’s known here — delegation was “led by a strong lineup,” CNA reported based on an official government announcement, including Republicans “Xixia Bo,” a.k.a. Rep. Steve Chabot (Ohio); “Xiweiersen,” or Rep. Joe Wilson (S.C.); and Rep. “Maise” Luke Messer (Ind.). There was also a Democrat we hadn’t known about — “Mr. Borda Luo,” or Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) — and a Republican who defied translation, Rep. Randy Weber (Tex.).

The Foreign Affairs Ministry called the delegation “heavyweight, meaning very great, full of friendship and bipartisan congressional support,” according to Google’s translation of the CNA report.

The ministry of foreign affairs called the delegation”heavyweight, meaning very great, full of friendship and  bipartisan congressional support,” CNA reported. (That’s how the Google translation came out.)

This trip was Loop-recommended, despite far too many meetings over trade and China’s aggressive actions in its dispute with Japan over several uninhabited islands — with large undersea riches — in the East Asia Sea as well as other difficult policy issues.

It at least offered a chance to get out of Arctic Washington over the weekend and it had the essential overnight in Hong Kong on the off-chance maybe someone might want to do some shopping.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
The feminist appeal may not be working for Clinton
In New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders is beating Clinton among women by eight percentage points, according to a new CNN-WMUR survey. This represents a big shift from the results last week in the Iowa caucuses, where Clinton won women by 11 points.
The Post's Dan Balz says ...
This was supposed to be the strongest Republican presidential field in memory, but cracks are showing. At Saturday night's debate, Marco Rubio withered in the face of unyielding attacks from Chris Christie, drawing attention to the biggest question about his candidacy: Is he ready to be president? How much the debate will affect Rubio's standing Tuesday is anybody's guess. But even if he does well, the question about his readiness to serve as president and to go up against Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, will linger.
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.