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Taiwan’s Top Representative to US Visits Kentucky, Virginia

Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), Taiwan’s top envoy to the United States, recently completed trips to Virginia and Kentucky, where she met with respective governors and other state representatives, per UDN.

A visit to these U.S. states followed Hsiao’s midmonth return to Taiwan where she met with the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee. Hsiao’s travels are helping bolster Taiwan’s reputation abroad, as well as opportunities for economic cooperation.

UDN reported that Hsiao visited Kentucky from Feb. 23-24 and met with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear to exchange views on Taiwan-U.S. relations and bilateral trade opportunities. The electric vehicle and whiskey industries were also identified as areas of potential cooperation, with Hsiao encouraging Kentucky to set up a trade office in Taiwan.

Hsiao also met with Kentucky State Senate President Robert Stivers and Kentucky House of Representatives Speaker David Osborne. She was also invited to witness both the Kentucky State Senate and Kentucky House of Representatives pass resolutions supporting Taiwan.

In a speech delivered to Kentucky lawmakers, Hsiao said the Russian-Ukraine war has approached the one-year anniversary, highlighting the importance of establishing partnerships to promote peace and avert war. Hsiao said Taiwan has long struggled for freedom of speech and basic human rights, and it has gradually become a democratic country like the U.S.

Hsiao added that Taiwan is committed to maintaining a democratic system and opposing force and coercion, one reason why Taiwan has so many international partners around the world. Hsiao also touched on agricultural cooperation and technology exchange as another area of bilateral benefit.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta said the Kentucky State Senate and House of Representatives passed resolutions encouraging the establishment of a trade office in Taiwan, support for the Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st Century Trade, the signing of U.S. and Taiwan bilateral trade agreements (BTA) as soon as possible, and supporting meaningful international engagement for Taiwan.

Earlier this month (Feb. 16), Hsiao visited Virginia, which is near her work and residence in Washington, D.C. On that trip she met with politicians such as Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, Virginia Lieutenant Governor and State Senate President Winsome Earle-Sears. The purpose of this trip was to discuss economic and trade cooperation.

During the visit, Hsiao was also invited to speak at a Virginia House of Representatives reception for Taiwan Caucus members. In her speech she noted that Virginia is the birthplace of U.S. democracy and the home of eight former U.S. presidents. She also remarked that Taiwan and Virginia have maintained sister-state relations for 42 years.

Source : Taiwan News