[Last update: June 17 15:15]
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai ing-wen (蔡英文) has appointed Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) as the new Taiwanese representative to the U.S., replacing Stanley Kao (高碩泰), who has held the post for more than four years.
The Presidential Office made the announcement on Tuesday evening (June 16). Hsiao — currently an advisor to the National Security Council — has made substantial contributions to Taiwan-U.S. relations, and her efforts to promote parliamentarian diplomacy and Taiwan’s international participation have been widely recognized, said Spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵), adding that “Her nomination was swiftly approved by the U.S. government.”
Hsiao will be the first female Taiwanese representative to the U.S., which the Tsai administration regards as an important ally though the two countries have no formal diplomatic ties. With her more than two decades of experience handling international affairs, Hsiao will help the president further bilateral ties between Taiwan and the U.S., Chang cited Tsai as saying.
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) also sent congratulations to Hsiao on her new position via a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. “We commend President Tsai’s appointment of Ms. Hsiao, and feel confident that the U.S.-Taiwan friendship will flourish during her tenure,” it said.
Prior to her advisory position in the Tsai administration, Hsaio was a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator and member of the Foreign and National Defense Committee for more than a decade. She also traveled with then-Vice President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) on a U.S. tour in February.
Analysts from several U.S. think tanks have commended the appointment, reported CNA. Richard Bush from the Brookings Institution said Hsiao will be welcomed in Washington, going on to say that he believes Hsiao will make significant contributions to relations between the two sides just as Kao has.
Reports said Hsiao is likely to take up the post in July.