Technology security to be major theme in Taiwan-US relations: New envoy

Former DPP lawmaker Hsiao Bi-khim will be Taiwan's first female representative in Washington

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Next Taiwanese envoy to U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim 

Next Taiwanese envoy to U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan should play a crucial part as technology security moves to the forefront of the strategic competition between the United States and China, the island’s new envoy in Washington, D.C., told CNA in an interview published Saturday (July 11).

The Columbia University-educated Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), 48, will become Taiwan’s first female representative to its major ally later this month after a long career as a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator.

Ahead of her departure for the U.S., Hsiao said Taiwan should emphasize its role as a trusted partner of countries with similar ideals. One area where the island could play a major part is the rearranging of international supply chains amid the fallout from the U.S.-China trade war and Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she said.

As China has built its progress in fields such as 5G on the theft of technology, U.S. authorities are trying to reduce the country's dependence on the East Asian giant, according to Hsiao. The new envoy said that even though Taiwan cannot be expected to completely end its business ties with China, as a key player in hardware manufacturing, it can nevertheless offer cooperation and supply solutions to friendly countries.

The coronavirus pandemic has also raised other countries' interest in cooperating with Taiwan to an unprecedented level, Hsiao told CNA, emphasizing the importance of sectors such as technology and healthcare as opportunities.

Saying she looks forward to her tasks, Hsiao predicted China would do its utmost to disrupt ties between Taiwan and the U.S. but said the island will develop relationships in Washington regardless of political party.