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Taiwan's envoy says she is not taking sides in US election

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Hsiao Bi-khim. (Photo provided by William Lai's office)

Hsiao Bi-khim. (Photo provided by William Lai's office)

Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the United States said she is staying neutral on the U.S. presidential election because it is up to Americans, not people from other countries.

"As a governmental delegate, [I] should not take a side in a domestic election in the U.S. because it is after all the choice to be made by the American people," said Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) in a recent interview with Taiwan's Public Television Service via video conference.

Hsiao was answering a question on how the election could affect Taiwan-U.S. relations and the possibility that relations could lose momentum if the Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden were elected.

The top envoy said Taiwan has made friends with both Republicans and Democrats over the past four decades, and she expected the two parties to show support for Taiwan, Hsiao said.

The Donald Trump administration has enthusiastically supported Taiwan both diplomatically and militarily to secure stability in the Indo-Pacific region, Hsiao said, while Biden pledged to deepen ties with Taiwan in an op-ed that ran Thursday in America's largest Chinese-language newspaper, the World Journal.

In the pre-recorded two-hour talk show scheduled to be broadcast on Oct. 30, Hsiao also discussed trade and that with its wider opening to U.S. pork and beef imports, Taiwan demonstrated its determination and ability to be in step with international trends.

The U.S. has paid considerable attention to technology security and supply chain restructuring amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which are areas where Taiwan can play a key role, Hsiao said.

Also, efforts to promote bilateral investment and boost economic recovery after the pandemic ends will help increase Washington's willingness to conduct bilateral trade talks with Taiwan, she said.

Asked about China's attempts to manipulate public opinion, Hsiao said such efforts have drawn attention in the international community and are aimed at undermining people's faith in democracy and the internal solidarity of countries.

There has been research on China's "cognitive warfare" around the world, but China's suppression aimed at eliminating Taiwan's international space exists everywhere and has to be countered.