Hsiao Bi-khim

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Hsiao Bi-khim

Hsiao Bi-khim from VOA (1).jpg
Member of the Legislative Yuan
Assumed office
1 February 2016
Preceded byWang Ting-son
ConstituencyHualien County
In office
1 February 2012 – 1 February 2016
ConstituencyProportional Representation №7
In office
1 February 2005 – 1 February 2008
ConstituencyTaipei 1
In office
1 February 2002 – 1 February 2005
ConstituencyOverseas Chinese
Personal details
Born (1971-08-07) August 7, 1971 (age 47)
Kobe, Japan
Political partyDemocratic Progressive
Alma materOberlin College
Columbia University

Hsiao Bi-khim (Chinese: 蕭美琴; pinyin: Xiāo Měiqín; Wade–Giles: Hsiao1 Mei3-ch'in2; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Siau Bí-khîm; born August 7, 1971) is a Taiwanese politician and member of the Legislative Yuan. Born in Kobe, Japan, Hsiao grew up in Tainan, Taiwan before moving to the United States. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1993 and Columbia University in 1995.

She is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)[1] and an important figure in DPP foreign policy circles.[2] She is also a vice president of Liberal International.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Hsiao was born in Kobe, Japan, to a Taiwanese father and American mother. Raised in Tainan, Taiwan, she grew up speaking Mandarin, Taiwanese, and English. After moving to the United States during her high school years, Hsiao completed her undergraduate studies at Oberlin College, receiving a bachelor's degree in East Asian studies. She continued on to graduate school at Columbia University, where she received her master's degree in political science.[2][4][5]

Political career[edit]

In the United States, Hsiao became active with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) representative office in the US serving as an activity coordinator. Upon returning to Taiwan, Hsiao became the party's international affairs director and represented the party in several international conferences for over a decade.[4]

After Chen Shui-bian took office as the President of the Republic of China in 2000, Hsiao served as his interpreter and advisor for nearly two years.[4] Her dual US and Republic of China (Taiwan) citizenship while she was holding a government position became a political issue, and she renounced her US citizenship, as required by the Civil Servants Employment Law passed in 2000.[6][7]

Legislative career[edit]

In January 2001, Hsiao announced her intention to run for the Legislative Yuan on the DPP ticket as a supplementary member representing overseas constituencies, citing her experience in international relations.[8] She was subsequently elected in December the same year.[4]

In the legislative elections of December 2004, Hsiao was reelected to the Legislative Yuan representing Taipei's first constituency, covering the northern districts of Xinyi, Songshan, Nangang, Neihu, Shilin, and Beitou. As a legislator, she served on the Foreign and Overseas Affairs Committee (外交及僑務委員會), the Procedure Committee (程序委員會), and the Discipline Committee (紀律委員會).[1]

Hsiao worked on a number of issues in the legislature, notably women's rights, the rights of foreigners in Taiwan, and other human rights. Hsiao supported amending the Nationality Law to allow individuals born to at least one parent of ROC nationality to also claim ROC nationality irrespective of age,[9] and has also proposed and cosponsored anti-discrimination and anti-domestic violence amendments to the Immigration Act.[10] She has also been a proponent of animal rights, proposing amendments to the Animal Protection Act,[11] and also pushed for the passage of the Sexual Harassment Prevention Act in January 2005.[12]

In May 2005, Hsiao represented the DPP at the annual congress of Liberal International in Sofia, Bulgaria, during which she was elected as a vice-president of the organization. Hsiao alleged that she and other DPP representatives were followed throughout their visit to Bulgaria by two unidentified persons sent by the People's Republic of China embassy in Sofia.[13]

The same month, Hsiao also started a campaign to encourage Taiwanese baseball fans to write e-mails to the New York Yankees to request for them to keep Taiwanese pitcher Chien-Ming Wang at the major league level.[14] The move led to some domestic criticism as being embarrassing and unnecessary.[15]

Hsiao was one of the DPP lawmakers targeted by some party supporters as being insufficiently loyal, with a pro-independence radio show dubbing her as "Chinese Khim" (中國琴) in March 2007, charging that she was close to the DPP's former New Tide faction.[16] Defended by some other DPP members, Hsiao was still not nominated to stand for re-election by the DPP in the January 2008 legislative elections,[17] a move some attributed to be the result of that controversy.[18]

Hsiao left the Legislative Yuan after her term expired on January 31, 2008. She served as spokesperson for Frank Hsieh's unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.[19] She is also vice chairman of the Taiwan Tibet Exchange Foundation,[20] a member of the board of trustees of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy,[21] a member of the executive committee of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats,[22] and a founding member of the Taiwan Association for Women in Sport (台灣女子體育運動協會).[23]

She returned to the Legislative Yuan in February 2012, elected via party list proportional representation. In 2016, Hsiao succeeded Wang Ting-son as legislator for Hualien County.

Personal life[edit]

Her father, Hsiao Tsing-fen, is a former president of the Tainan Theological College and Seminary.

In November 2000, The Journalist, a local tabloid magazine, wrongly claimed to have been told by Vice President Annette Lu that Hsiao was having an affair with President Chen. No evidence supported the tale,[24] and Lu sued the magazine for libel in civil court. The magazine was eventually ordered to apologize and issue corrections admitting it had fabricated the story.[25]

During her political career, Hsiao and fellow legislators Cheng Li-chun and Chiu Yi-ying gained the nickname "the S.H.E of the DPP."[26]


  1. ^ a b "蕭美琴 (Hsiao Bi-khim')". 第6屆 立法委員個人資料 (6th Legislative Yuan Personal Info) (in Chinese). ROC Legislative Yuan. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
  2. ^ a b Hsu, Crystal (21 Jul 2002). "DPP hoping new blood will rejuvenate party". Taipei Times. p. 3.
  3. ^ "Vice President". Members > People. Liberal International. Archived from the original on 2007-11-09. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  4. ^ a b c d "Personal Profile" (in Chinese). 立法委員蕭美琴虛擬服務處 (Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim's website). Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  5. ^ %5bhttp://www.bikhim.wordpress.com%20 See Bi Khim Hsiao's website for further details%5d ut/about1.htm "A Brief Biography" Check |url= value (help). 立法委員蕭美琴虛擬服務處 (Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim's website). Retrieved 2008-04-06.
  6. ^ Lin, Mei-chun (7 Dec 2000). "Legislators pass resolution on citizenship". Taipei Times. p. 3.
  7. ^ Internal Revenue Service (22 July 2002), "Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who Have Chosen To Expatriate, as Required by Section 6039G", Federal Register
  8. ^ Lin, Mei-chun (2001-01-14), "Hsiao Bi-khim to run for legislature", The Taipei Times, p. 3
  9. ^ Hong, Caroline (2004-06-25), "Legislator to push for changes in nationality law", The Taipei Times, p. 2
  10. ^ Mo, Yan-chih; Loa, Lok-sin (2007-12-01), "Law change to aid migrant spouses", The Taipei Times, p. 1
  11. ^ Wang, Flora (2007-12-15), "Lawmakers pass overhaul of law on animal rights", The Taipei Times, p. 1
  12. ^ Mo, Yan-chih (2005-01-15), "Women's groups celebrate passage of harassment act", The Taipei Times, p. 3
  13. ^ Huang, Jewel (2005-05-18), "Hsiao Bi-khim denounces Chinese antics at LI meet", The Taipei Times, p. 4
  14. ^ "Wang could be demoted when Wright returns", Associated Press, 2005-05-30
  15. ^ "蕭美琴一人一信留王建民弄巧成拙", The Epoch Times, 2005-05-31, archived from the original (– Scholar search) on March 31, 2008
  16. ^ Wang, Flora (2007-03-06), "`Eliminated' DPP legislator questions party's values", The Taipei Times, p. 4
  17. ^ Wang, Flora (2007-05-08), "DPP members cull New Tide and `bandits'", The Taipei Times, p. 3
  18. ^ Chen, Fang-ming (2008-01-16), "DPP needs a new way of defining localization", The Taipei Times, p. 8, archived from the original on May 26, 2008
  19. ^ Wang, Flora; Ko, Shu-ling; Hsu, Jenny W. (2008-03-18), "Taiwan could be a second Tibet: Hsieh", The Taipei Times, p. 1
  20. ^ "副董事長-蕭美琴 (Vice Chairman - Hsiao Bi-khim)" (in Chinese). Taiwan Tibet Exchange Foundation. Archived from the original on 2009-04-05. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
  21. ^ "About TFD - Governance and Structure". Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
  22. ^ Chang, Yun-ping (2004-03-06). "It's safe to vote for Chen, liberals say". The Taipei Times. p. 1.
  23. ^ "About TWS" (in Chinese). Taiwan Association for Women in Sport. Archived from the original on August 25, 2005. Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  24. ^ Huang, Joyce (2001-01-09), "Lack of evidence flusters magazine", The Taipei Times, p. 1
  25. ^ Chuang, Jimmy (2002-12-14), "Magazine ordered to correct Lu story", The Taipei Times, p. 1
  26. ^ Su, Fang-ho; Chuang, Meng-hsuan; Lin, Liang-sheng (2 February 2016). "New lawmakers walk red carpet for new session". Taipei Times. Retrieved 2 February 2016.

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