Vice Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech by Hsiao Bi-khim
Presidential candidate Lai Ching-te; campaign director Yao Li-ming; campaign office chief Pan Men-an; campaign chief secretary Cho Jung-tai; DPP Secretary-General Hsu Li-ming; friends from the media; and everyone present and watching this event live, good afternoon.
For the past few years, promoting Taiwan’s interests in the U.S. as ambassador was the mission President Tsai entrusted me—and a job I believe suited me best. In this position, I gave every measure of my being and dared not tire. Over the past three years and four months, the entire TECRO team and I have endeavored to ensure the improved functioning of Taiwan-U.S. relations, and to complete the responsibility bestowed upon me by the president and people of Taiwan.
So, when Vice President Lai invited me to become his running mate, I was plunged into deep thought. I asked myself: In this election, should I contribute to campaign efforts by remaining in the most familiar perch, or by embracing more-challenging tasks in a new role?
Recall the year 2010, when I was similarly confronted with hard choices and decided to join the legislative by-election in Hualien. Thus began my ten-year cultivation of support there.
Throughout those ten years, I climbed mountains and worked in fields, visiting Hualien’s big streets and small alleyways. Faced with an eminently tough political environment, I felt nothing but warmth from the average Hualien resident. There I was closest to Taiwanese soil; years of perspiration and training were nutrients of my growth; years of blessings and setbacks, as well as the tears of supporters shed for my 2020 defeat, had afforded me courage to face outward to the world.
I once described myself as a “cat warrior,” as diplomacy is like cat steps—prudence is called for before one takes every step, at times tender and resolved. As ambassador, I held firm to my position and deftly managed myriad issues, striking a delicate balance in a complex strategic environment and maximizing the potential of Taiwan-U.S. ties—all while making other like-minded countries more supportive of Taiwan and our global engagement.
After the Ukraine war, the Taiwan Strait situation once more came into sharp focus worldwide. Although the whole world desires to maintain the Taiwan Strait status quo, it has been subjected to incessant unilateral changes by China. See harassment from CCP aircraft and warships, as well as its attempts at interfering in our elections. I believe everyone is keenly aware of—and apprehensive about—the recent changes in Taiwan’s political landscape. Whether Taiwan can be successful in defending democratic values, and whether the people of Taiwan can determine our own future, has far-reaching implications not only in Taiwan but across the globe. And these situational changes have convinced me that I must not look away from the challenges at hand.
This morning I tendered my resignation as U.S. ambassador in turn to Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and President Tsai, ready to devote myself fully to the presidential campaign. I will bring with me the training received in each position, and the responsibility to the nation, to do more for our homeland, to march farther with the people of Taiwan.
Thank you, Vice President Lai and the Taiwanese people, for placing trust in me and more-hefty responsibilities on my shoulder. Thank you also to President Tsai for your encouragement and blessings. I am Hsiao Bi-khim, and I am back. Standing with Taiwan is and will always be my responsibility. For our country, I am ready to give my all. Let us work together. Thank you all.
Note: Ambassador Hsiao delivered her acceptance speech in Chinese; this English translation is for reference only.