- 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.1
- 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.2
- Beijing, which last week claimed that the Lai-Hsiao ticket would be a 'union of separatists' that could lead to a cross-strait military conflict, has blacklisted and sanctioned twice Hsiao for alleged collusion with the US as well as provoking confrontation between mainland China and Taiwan.3
- The PRC conducted military drills around the island of Taiwan in August upon Lai's return from a brief visit to the US, calling them a severe warning against 'independence separatist forces' that were allegedly colluding with external forces to provoke Beijing.4
- Meanwhile, the prospective China-friendly opposition alliance between the Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan People's Party (TTP) failed to appoint the joint presidential nominee on Saturday as previously announced. It's unclear whether they will be able to strike a deal by Friday, the deadline for officially registering candidates.5
- At a campaign rally on Sunday, Lai addressed rumors that some 60% of the voters oppose his DPP to remain as the ruling party by stressing that opinion polls indicate that roughly three-quarters disapprove of the KMT and about 80-90% reject the TPP.6
- Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. 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, as provided by Focus Taiwan. 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.