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Hsiao Bi-khim champions Taiwan's new immigrants

DPP vice presidential candidate emphasizes need for more resources, services for immigrants in Taiwan

Democratic Progressive Party vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim.

Democratic Progressive Party vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New immigrants in Taiwan are on the rise and making significant contributions to society, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said on Friday (Dec. 1).

Taiwan's multiculturalism is something to be proud of, Hsiao said at an event in New Taipei City. During her previous career as a politician, the candidate said she fought for the rights of new immigrants, including language education, counseling services, and various assistance mechanisms, Liberty Times reported.

Reflecting on her family's history, Hsiao noted that when her American mother married in Tainan decades ago, there were only a few new immigrants. Growing up, she said there were many obstacles including a new language to communicate with her grandmother.

Hsiao emphasized the need for increased care and support for new immigrants but acknowledged the challenges posed by national policy systems and identity verification issues. She said she was determined to overcome these difficulties and help those moving to Taiwan integrate as important members of society.

Hsiao said she appreciated the representation of new immigrants' voices in recent years. If elected vice president, she would be the first child of new immigrants to hold the position, she said.

DPP Lai Pin-yu (賴品妤) commended Hsiao’s commitment to protecting the rights of new immigrants. During her tenure as a legislator, she advocated for amendments to the Nationality Act and lobbied for digital and native language education resources for immigrants, according to Lai.

Hsiao resigned as Taiwan’s representative to the U.S. to become DPP presidential candidate Lai Ching-te’s (賴清德) running mate. The 2024 presidential election is slated for Jan. 13.