TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former Taiwanese legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) is reportedly to be appointed as Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the United States, becoming the island country’s first female diplomat to hold the position.
Speculation about a cabinet reshuffle has been rife in the run-up to President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) swearing-in for her second term on May 20, with the implications touching on security, diplomatic, and cross-straits affairs. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and National Security Council Secretary-General David Lee (李大維) are likely to remain in their posts, reported UDN.
While there have been calls for Wu to take responsibility for the loss of seven diplomatic allies due to China’s poaching and step down, many believe he was not to blame given the tense cross-strait relationship. He has also received much credit for improving Taiwan's relations with like-minded Western countries, according to the report.
Hsiao Bi-khim, who began her stint as a member of the National Security Council just this month, has reportedly been tapped as Taiwan’s next representative to the U.S., an important position as the two countries seek closer ties.
Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) described Hsiao as a veteran politician in global affairs who has contributed significantly to furthering Taiwan-U.S. relations, promoting parliamentary diplomacy, and increasing Taiwan’s international participation, wrote ETToday.
A major figure in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) foreign policy circles, the 48-year-old politician served as a member of the Legislative Yuan for four terms between 2002 and 2008 as well as 2012 and 2020. Hsiao has not commented on her alleged appointment.