Taiwan: Lai Picks Former US Envoy as Presidential Running Mate

    Taiwan: Lai Picks Former US Envoy as Presidential Running Mate
    Photo: Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Taiwanese Vice President and current presidential frontrunner William Lai announced on Monday that he has chosen the island's former de facto ambassador to the US, Hsiao Bi-khim, to run alongside him in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential ticket in January's election.

    • The 52-year-old diplomat has been lauded for her influence and relationship with US officials, policymakers, businesses, civil society, and others to boost Taiwan's deterrence and resilience as the PRC seeks to isolate the island diplomatically.


    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    If Hsiao Bi-khim becomes Taiwan's vice president, she wouldn't pursue more sovereignty for its people but rather prop up her Western economic and military partners. In her previous positions of governmental influence, Hsiao purposefully instigated Beijing to build confrontational public opinion and endanger people across the straits. Her goal isn't peace — it's to grow her personal power at the expense of the mainland and its neighboring citizens.

    Anti-China narrative

    If there were a perfect résumé for the vice president, Hsiao would have it. After graduating from Columbia University in the 1990s, she began her foreign affairs career as head of the DPP's liaison office in the US, after which she excelled in both lawmaking and international diplomacy as a legislator at home and lead ambassador to Washington for more than a decade. Hsiao has proven herself a patriot throughout her entire career, and now she's prepared to defend her country against Beijing from the executive office.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 54% chance that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will win the 2024 presidential election in Taiwan, according to the Metaculus prediction community.



    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

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