Taiwan’s presidential frontrunner picks US envoy as running mate

“(We) will lead the country steadily and firmly follow the right path. Please give us a chance,” he said.

While the United States does not diplomatically recognise Taiwan, it is the island’s most prominent ally and arms supplier.

During Hsiao’s three-year stint in Washington, she had enabled US-Taiwan relations to be “the most mutually trusting” in history, said Lai.

Last September, a US Senate committee approved the Taiwan Policy Act, allowing Washington to provide Taipei security assistance to the tune of US$4.5 billion over four years.

The legislation also laid out sanctions on China should it use force to try and seize Taiwan.

Bonnie Glaser, a Taiwan-China affairs expert at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said Hsiao has done an “outstanding job” in advancing Taiwan’s interests.

“She understands how Congress works, its key role in supporting Taiwan, but also how to work with the executive branch and Congress at the same time,” Glaser said.


To Taiwanese voters, a Lai-Hsiao ticket would represent the party’s platform to “resist China”, said political scientist Chang Chun-hao of Taiwan’s Tunghai University.

“(They) can create a powerful effect in anti-China and pro-US issues,” he told AFP. “Hsiao not only represents Taiwanese ideology but she also has a pro-US role.”

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