Taiwan's US envoy prioritizes bilateral economic cooperation, national security

Representative to US focused on solidifying Taiwan as reliable trade partner, avoiding unnecessary conflict

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Taiwan's Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim at Twin Oaks Estate

Taiwan's Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim at Twin Oaks Estate (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), Taiwan’s new envoy to the U.S., has stated that her primary goal will be to expand bilateral economic and trade cooperation as well as maintain Taiwan's overall national security.

Having only arrived in the U.S. 10 days ago, Hsiao talked to Chinese language media on Monday (August 3) at the Taiwanese-owned Twin Oaks Estate in Washington D.C., CNA reported.

She confessed that a major obstacle to inking a Taiwan-US bilateral trade agreement is the fact that the Taiwanese government still regulates specific agricultural products. Nevertheless, Hsiao pledged to continue negotiations with the U.S.

Hsiao also said that the global strategic situation is changing rapidly, and it is necessary to find a way for Taiwan to avoid unnecessary conflict.

The representative then pointed out that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) has greatly impacted the global economy. Taiwan has long relied on exports, she stated, and its economy is highly linked to the outside world.

Therefore, it must strengthen economic relations with other major trading partners. As the U.S. is currently mulling industrial restructuring and global relocation, she said, there is an opportunity for Taiwan to establish itself as a reliable partner and effective production base for American companies.

She also mentioned Washington’s concerns about supply chain security in the areas of trade, economy, technology, and communications. She said that Taiwan can play a more critical role in these fields and seize the chance to create international space for itself while the global economy is in a period of recalibration.

Hsiao then stressed that Taiwan shares common values with the U.S., including freedom, democracy, security, and concern for stability in the Indo-Pacific. These ideals form the cornerstone upon which the two nations can bolster relations.

She said that especially after the passage of the Hong Kong National Security Law, Taiwan’s democracy and freedom have become even more precious. She noted that the U.S. has been increasingly concerned that China’s violations of its commitment to the “one country, two systems” framework and promised half-century of autonomy for Hong Kong have affected the territory's political development.

Hsiao concluded by saying that now that she is Taiwan's main representative to the U.S., her job is to take other people’s opinions into consideration and protect Taiwan’s democracy and freedom while maintaining its prosperity.