2023-1124: Taiwan’s U.S. Envoy Hsiao Named DPP’s VP Candidate; Taiwan Lauds Opening of Four New U.S. State Offices in 2023

Taiwan’s U.S. Envoy Hsiao Bi-khim Named DPP’s VP Candidate

Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s former Representative to the United States for the past three years, was formally named Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) nominee Lai Ching-te’s running mate in Taiwan’s January 2024 presidential election.

“I am Hsiao Bi-khim and I am back. I will shoulder the unshirkable responsibility of supporting Taiwan,” Hsiao said at a press conference on November 20 to unveil the Lai-Hsiao ticket at Lai’s campaign headquarters in Taipei.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry accepted her resignation as U.S. envoy earlier in the day.

Hsiao, born to a Taiwanese father and an American mother, said she shared values with Lai including defending Taiwan’s freedom and democracy.

At the press event, Lai Ching-te, who is currently Taiwan’s Vice President and the DPP’s Chairman, thanked Hsiao for agreeing to be his running mate.

Lai said he chose Hsiao because of her “top-notch performance” as Taiwan’s Representative to the U.S. since 2020.

During her three-year tenure, Hsiao made Taiwan-U.S. ties the “best ever in history,” he said.

According to Hsiao, the international community has paid closer attention to cross-Taiwan Strait tensions in recent times, in particular after Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022 and Chinese warships and warplanes began conducting drills closer to Taiwan.

“Whether Taiwan can safeguard its democracy and decide its own future will have a huge impact on Taiwan’s own survival and the world as a whole,” Hsiao said.

While the future Lai administration would welcome every opportunity to work with Beijing to maintain the “status quo,” Taiwan needs to continue building up its defense capability so as to deal with cross-Taiwan Strait relations with more confidence, Hsiao said at an international press conference on November 23.

“It’s also important that [those in] the international community who agree with our position in continuing peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait make clear [to China] that dialogue is the only way to resolve differences,” Hsiao said.

“War is not an option,” she emphasized, adding that a “rock-solid” Taiwan-U.S. partnership “is critically important right now.”

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202311200010
[2] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/11/21/2003809476
[3] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202311230007
[4] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2023/11/24/2003809629

Taiwans Foreign Ministry Lauds Opening of Four New U.S. State Offices in 2023

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MOFA) official hailed the opening of four new representative offices in Taiwan by U.S. states this year in 2023, saying it illustrates how the two countries are “ideal and reliable” partners.

Speaking at an annual appreciation reception held in Taipei on November 22 by the American State Offices Association (ASOA), Wang Liang-yu, head of MOFA’s North American Affairs Department, said the new offices opened by Arizona, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Virginia, also represented the “breadth and depth” of the partnerships between Taiwan and different U.S. states.

In addition, a total of six U.S. state governors led trade missions to Taiwan and signed a wide range of MOUs in 2023, “underscoring the fact that Taiwan and the U.S. are ideal and reliable partners,” she added.

Meanwhile, Emily Scott, director of the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT) Agricultural Trade Office, said during the reception that the additional four new members meant there were now 17 ASOA members in Taiwan.

When she first arrived in Taiwan there were only eight members, Scott said, adding that she was happy to have witnessed the growth firsthand as well as the rise of U.S.-Taiwan exchanges at a subnational level.

She also noted that Taiwan is a close U.S. trade partner and the sixth-largest market for American agricultural products.

The other U.S. state offices and ASOA members are Minnesota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wyoming, while Guam, an unincorporated U.S. territory, also has an office in Taiwan.

Founded in 1985, the ASOA was formed to facilitate and strengthen bilateral ties between the U.S. and Taiwan and serve as a platform for U.S. state government representative offices to enhance trade and investment ties with Taiwan, according to its website.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202311220021