In his address on Thursday, the vice presidential candidate of Taiwan’s governing party in an election scheduled for January said that conflict with China is not a possibility and emphasized the need of cross-strait talks in reducing tensions that have sparked worries about the stability of the area.
China, which sees Taiwan as its own territory in spite of the Taipei government’s adamant protestations, is a major factor in the Jan. 13 survey, particularly in light of the fact that China has increased military pressure to bolster its claims to sovereignty.
This week, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said that Hsiao Bi-khim, the former prominent de facto ambassador of Taiwan to the United States, would be the running partner of Lai Ching-te, their front-runner for the presidency and the future leader of the island.
China views Hsiao and Lai as separatists and despises them both. Hsiao has been sanctioned twice, most recently in April. Reporters were informed by Hsiao that “many other international friends” had also received sanctions from China, and she vowed to continue her defense of Taiwan’s democracy. She stated, “We have reaffirmed our position that we are committed to the status quo and that we remain open to dialogue.”
It’s crucial that the international community, which shares our belief in maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, convey to our counterparts on the other side of the strait that communication is the only means of resolving conflicts. There is no way to go to war.
Hsiao, who speaks English well and was appointed Taiwan’s ambassador to the US in 2020, contributes her extensive network in Washington to Lai’s campaign. She said that Taiwan needed to develop wide support among Americans and that it was imperative that Taiwan get unanimity and bipartisanship when it came to the US. Hsiao said, “American support for Taiwan cannot be limited to the beltway,” alluding to the political climate in Washington. “Right now, a strong partnership with the United States is crucial.”
Like the majority of nations, the US has no official diplomatic connections to Taiwan but is the island nation’s largest international ally and is legally required to provide Taiwan the resources it needs to defend itself. The DPP’s seamless conduct of its presidential campaign contrasts sharply with that of Taiwan’s two major opposition parties, the smaller Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) and the Kuomintang (KMT), who are unable to reach an agreement on fielding a combined ticket.
The electoral commission must receive presidential and vice presidential candidate registrations by Friday afternoon. On Tuesday, Lai and Hsiao registered. Although the KMT, which has always favored tight connections with Beijing, initially consented to collaborate with the TPP, neither party has been able to come to an agreement on who would serve as president and vice president.