Taiwan president congratulates Biden on inauguration

Tsai Ing-wen reciprocates Joe Biden's congratulatory message on her inauguration

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. (Twitter, Tsai Ing-wen photo)

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. (Twitter, Tsai Ing-wen photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday (Jan. 21 Taiwan time) congratulated President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inauguration.

Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the U.S. on the West Front of the Capitol building at noon on Wednesday (EST), while Harris became the first female, African American, and Asian American vice president in the country's history. At 1:34 a.m. on Thursday morning, Tsai posted a message of congratulations on her Twitter account.

In her message, she congratulated Biden and Harris on their inauguration and wished their administration "every success." She emphasized that Taiwan "stands ready" to work the Biden administration as a "global force for good."

That same day, Taiwan's Office of the President issued an official congratulatory message as well. In the statement, Tsai stressed that the U.S. is not only "Taiwan's most important ally" but also a "steadfast partner with whom we share the values of freedom and democracy."

Tsai was reciprocating Biden's congratulatory message on her election victory in January of 2020. In his message, Biden spoke of deepening relations with Taiwan: "The United States should continue strengthening our ties with Taiwan and other like-minded democracies." Biden was one of the few Democratic presidential candidates at the time to congratulate Tsai.

When Tsai was inaugurated on May 20 of last year, Biden sent her another congratulatory message. In return, when Biden took a decisive lead in Pennsylvania on Nov. 8, Tsai sent a tweet congratulating him and Harris on their victory.

The fact that Biden showed no fear of reprisal from China over his public gestures of support for Tsai and the American relationship with her country bodes well for his Taiwan policy. Indeed, sources close to Joe Biden's campaign team recently told Taiwan News that "U.S. support for Taiwan will be as strong if not stronger under a Biden administration."

In an early good sign of the Biden administration's policy on Taiwan, Taiwan’s envoy to the U.S., Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), was officially invited to attend his inauguration. This marked the first time that a Taiwanese representative has been invited to an inauguration in an official capacity since President Jimmy Carter cut off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979.

Updated : 2021-03-04 08:22 GMT+08:00