The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday congratulated Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) on being named Taiwan’s first female representative to the US, highlighting her record of advancing bilateral partnerships in security, economic and democratic issues.
The appointment was announced by the Presidential Office on Tuesday night, confirming media reports about Hsiao’s promotion from a National Security Council adviser.
The US is the most important global partner of Taiwan, and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expects Hsiao to further strengthen bilateral ties, and create more opportunities to ensure prosperity and stability in the nation and the region, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said on Tuesday.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
“Ms Hsiao has a strong record of advancing US-Taiwan relations and will be the first woman to hold this critical role,” the AIT said in a news release, commending Tsai’s appointment and expressing confidence about the future of bilateral friendship.
“During her tenure in the Legislative Yuan, Ms Hsiao worked successfully with her bipartisan colleagues and with AIT to make progress on many aspects of the US-Taiwan partnership, including our security cooperation, economic and commercial ties, and joint efforts to share Taiwan’s democratic success story with the world,” it said.
Hsiao, 48, served four terms as a legislator, from 2012 to January this year, as well as chairperson of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats from 2018 to present, among other positions in global organizations.
After she was defeated by then-independent Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁) in the Jan. 11 elections for a legislative seat in Hualien County, Hsiao was appointed an adviser to the National Security Council.
Born in Japan and raised in Taiwan, Hsiao was the child of a Taiwanese father and an American mother. She holds a master’s degree in political science from Columbia University.
There is no better candidate for the position than Hsiao, who will become the first DPP member appointed as representative to the US, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said on Facebook yesterday.
Hsiao’s appointment would be positive for Taiwan-US relations, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Charles Chen (陳以信), a former presidential office spokesman, said on Facebook.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday declined to answer questions on when Hsiao would formally assume office and what would be the next move of Representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰).
Additional reporting by CNA
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