TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Taiwan’s presidential frontrunner Vice President Lai Ching-te said Monday he had picked the island’s former envoy to the United States as his running mate in January’s election.
Hsiao Bi-khim, 52, has been Taipei’s de facto ambassador to the United States since 2020, and is widely regarded as a well-connected and savvy diplomat navigating the geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Lai said in a Facebook post that she has “facilitated unprecedented close interactions in Taiwan-US relations in the past few years”.
“I believe that Bi-khim is definitely a leader in Taiwan’s diplomatic work today and a rare diplomatic talent in our country,” he said.
“I am confident that together with Bi-khim, we will succeed in the final 50 days to unite the consensus of the people and unite all forces to win the election, and allow Taiwan to continue to grow on a steady path forward.”
Taiwan’s foreign ministry also announced that it had accepted Bi-khim’s resignation as the representative to Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington.
Hsiao, who China regards as an “independence diehard”, has previously been sanctioned twice by Beijing.
China considers self-ruled Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to seize it one day, by force if necessary.