AMERICAN SAMOA’S FALEOMAVAEGA EXPRESSES STRONG CONCERN TO TAIWAN yGOVERNMENT OVER PLIGHT OF CHINESE FISHERMEN IN TERRITORY

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CONGRESSMAN ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA American Samoa U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

NEWS RELEASE November 2, 2001

AMERICAN SAMOA’S FALEOMAVAEGA EXPRESSES STRONG CONCERN TO TAIWAN GOVERNMENT OVER PLIGHT OF CHINESE FISHERMEN IN TERRITORY

Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega announced today that he has contacted Taiwan’s Representative to the United States, the Honorable Chien-Jen Chen, to register his "strongest concern with a Taiwanese company, Kao Yar Fishery Company, Ltd., which operates two fishing boats that are at the center of a controversy" in American Samoa.

In a letter to Taiwan Representative Chen, Congressman Faleomavaega stated, "It is my understanding that 48 fishermen who work on the Kao Yar Fishery Company’s two vessels -- the Kao Yar #121 and the Kao Yar #101 -- have been denied payment of their wages. Incredible as it may seem, some of the fishermen have not been paid for the last 30 months of work."

"Additionally, the fishermen complain that the fishing boats are unsafe," Faleomavaega stated, "as they have not been serviced in four years and are badly deteriorated, lacking reliable electricity and running cold water. The U.S. Coast Guard has reputedly confirmed the boats suffer from inoperable conditions."

The Congressman noted, "Several requests for fair treatment by the fishermen, who were hired from the People’s Republic of China, have apparently been ignored for months. This has resulted in their airing the matter in public."

The identity of the Taiwanese owner of the fishing boats, Mr. Shiau Ing Du, who is also known as Hsiao Ing Du or XiaoYin Du, and his place of business in Kaohsuing, Taiwan, were conveyed by the Congressman to Representative Chen.

In formally requesting Taiwan Representative Chen’s intervention to resolve the matter, Faleomavaega wrote, "While American Samoa as part of the United States has long welcomed trade ties with Taiwan, it is greatly disturbing to hear that some Taiwanese businessmen, such as Mr. Shiau Ing Du, may be conducting themselves in a disreputable fashion that casts a negative light on both Taiwan as well as American Samoa."

Congressman Faleomavaega concluded that such disreputable business practices must be addressed as they have the potential to undercut and jeopardize trade relations.

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