TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese American Tiffany Chang was crowned the 35th Miss Asia USA at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in California on Saturday (Nov. 18).
Chang, 20, is a second-generation Taiwanese American. She is currently a sophomore at Stanford University and stepped down as the reigning Miss Taiwanese American to participate in this recent pageant, per RTI.
Chang was eager to tell the international community that Taiwan is an independent country. Over 1,000 spectators cheered on Chang at the pageant by waving the Taiwan flag.
Tiffany Chang wins Miss Asia USA beauty pageant. (CNA photo)
The 35th Miss Asia USA featured 50 competitors of various nationalities. Age groups ranged from teens to mature, and competitors participated in categories such as swimsuits, evening gowns, and native attire.
Chang finished first in four pageant categories: popularity award, audience choice award, best swimsuit, and best evening gown. Speaking to the media after her win, Chang said it was upsetting that Taiwan was often referred to as "Chinese Taipei" in international sporting events.
The runner-up in this beauty pageant represented China. The two contestants representing China and Taiwan were seen holding hands and embracing one other in a rare scene.
Chang participated in Taiwanese events and activities in the U.S. (CNA photo)
Chang said she valued the opportunity to meet other women throughout Asia through the pageant. This year’s theme of “Unity and Diversity” celebrated interaction among contestants with different backgrounds.
This was the first time an individual representing Taiwan was allowed to compete in the 35 years of the pageant’s history.