AIT head, new US representative meet Legislative Yuan members

Taiwan’s Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim and Director of the American Institute in Taipei Brent Christensen attend the inaugural ceremony of the U.S. caucus in the Legislative Yuan.

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), Taiwan’s new representative to the United States, and Brent Christensen (酈英傑), director of the American Institute in Taipei (AIT), attended the inaugural ceremony of the Legislative Yuan’s (立法院) U.S. caucus.

Speaking at the inaugural event, Hsiao said that she would be in the U.S. in less than a week to assume her post as the next representative.

She added that she will be faced with a tremendous challenge to improve cooperation on issues such as Taiwan’s strategy, economy, medicine, politics, education, culture among other topics.

She stressed that because the international situation can rapidly change she is grateful to the Legislative Yuan for their continuing support to enable her to strengthen relations between the two countries.

Hsiao said the relationship between the countries is important given that the U.S. has already passed multiple acts such as the TAIPEI Act and the Taiwan Travel Act to support Taiwan.

Hsiao revealed that since the outbreak started, there have been some issues communicating face-to-face. However, she emphasized that regardless of the medium, Taiwan is excited to continue working with the U.S.

Hsiao remarked that in the past, she did not have as much pressure to perform as her performance only affected her chance of re-election. However, she states that with Taiwan’s relationship with the U.S., there can be no failure.

As a result, she said that she recognizes her responsibility and will do her best to help Taiwan-US relations.

Christensen echoed Hsiao’s statements by saying that U.S.-Taiwan relations have strengthened and evolved over time. In the past two years, the two countries have only become closer as there has been bipartisan support in the U.S. for Taiwan.

Regarding the TAIPEI Act and Taiwan Travel Act, Christensen said that these bills not only have significant impacts on U.S. Foreign Policy but are also a symbol of the U.S. Congress and the peoples it represents’’ strong support for Taiwan.

Christensen added that the friendship between the U.S. and Taiwan is rooted in the two countries’ fight for a democratic society. He described that by working on projects such as the Talent Circulation Alliance together, real progress between the countries can be made.

In regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, he stressed that the two countries will continue to work together to combat the pandemic by cooperating in vaccine research and development, while also sharing information from health experts.

Christensen concluded by saying he has full confidence in the LY’s US caucus. He believes that this caucus will be able to find innovative ways to bring Taiwan-US relations to another level.

The new chairman of the caucus is Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, 民進黨). He will be joined by DPP Legislator Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳), Kuomintang (KMT, 國民黨) Legislator Chen I-hsin (陳以信) and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP, 民眾黨) Legislator Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠) who will all serve as vice-chairman of the caucus.

According to Lo, the caucus currently has 71 members from across party lines.