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Hsiao bids farewell to Taiwan's office in Washington

11/28/2023 01:23 PM
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Taiwan's representative to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim. CNA file photo
Taiwan's representative to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim. CNA file photo

Washington, Nov. 27 (CNA) Taiwan's representative to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) bid farewell to her colleagues in Washington D.C. on Monday after resigning to be Vice President Lai Ching-te's (賴清德) running mate in the 2024 presidential election.

In a tweet, Hsiao said it has been "an honor" for her to represent Taiwan in the U.S. for the past three years.

"As I embark on another challenging path, I am truly grateful to all who have worked with me to strengthen the Taiwan-U.S. partnership over the last three years," she said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The envoy said she was "blessed to have an incredibly diligent and dedicated team" at Taiwan's representative office in the U.S.

"Taiwanese diplomats can never take support for granted. We know we must earn it and work for it," she said, adding that she will miss "the cherry blossoms and colorful foliage of DC" as well as "the warmth of bipartisan friends who have committed to stand with Taiwan."

CNA has learned that after participating in presidential campaign activities in Taiwan for much of last week, Hsiao flew back to the United States and arrived in Washington D.C. on Nov. 26, U.S. time, to take care of hand-over procedures.

According to photographs released on Facebook by Taiwan's office in the U.S., Hsiao took photographs with her colleagues in D.C. and handed over her responsibilities to her two deputies, deputy representatives Robin Cheng (鄭榮俊) and Johnson Chiang (姜森).

She is scheduled to head back to Taiwan from New York on Tuesday Nov. 28, U.S. time.

Hsiao returned to Taiwan last week to be officially announced as Lai's running mate on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's ticket in the January 2024 presidential election.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Hsiao officially tendered her resignation as Taiwan's representative to the U.S., a post she had held since July 2020, to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Nov. 20.

Hsiao's resignation will take effect after President Tsai officially approves it, MOFA spokesman Jeff Liu (劉永健) said.

Before that happens, Hsiao will be on paid leave. In the meantime, Cheng is serving as the acting representative while Hsiao is on leave because Cheng is the more senior deputy, Liu said.

Meanwhile, Liu said the Presidential Office and MOFA were still in the process of appointing Hsiao's successor, but he gave no timeline for when that person would be announced.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Joseph Yeh)

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