During Taiwan's Vice President Lai Qingde's visit to Paraguay and transit through New York, Taiwan's presidential office released a series of photos showing Lai Qingde and Taiwan's representative in the United States, Hsiao Mei-chin, attending the Metropolis Citi Stadium on August 8. Both of them are wearing shirts customized by the New York Mets team for "Taiwan Day", Lai Qingde's back number is written "14", and Xiao Meiqin's back number is written "1", enjoying hot dog Coke together and standing side by side, all conveying a kind of association to the outside world: In the 11 Taiwan election, will Lai Qingde and Xiao Meiqin "Lai Xiao" fight side by side?


During the warm-up of the topic of Taiwan's general election in November 2022, the chief reporter of "Hong Kong 11" in Taiwan received information in Taiwan, the deputy of Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Lai Qingde, is expected to lock in former Minister of Culture Zheng Lijun, who has a high reputation in Taiwan's "Wen Qing" circle, and "Lai Zheng Pei" is conducive to making up for the lack of attractiveness of Lai Qingde's youth vote. However, despite the rhetoric of "Lai Zheng Pei", Zheng Lijun has never taken action, and there have been few public activities so far.

Soon after, rumors of Xiao Meiqin's partner came out, firstly, Xiao could make up for women's votes, secondly, Xiao was Tsai Ing-wen's "best friend", and thirdly, Xiao had been running Taiwan's green camp in the American circle for many years, if "Lai Xiao" took shape, for Lai Qingde, who inherited Tsai Ing-wen's line, for the time being, regardless of the factional grievances within the DPP, it would definitely be more beneficial than harmful. Now that the two have appeared together in the United States with the back numbers of "1" and "11", the possibility of "Lai Xiao matching" may be on the horizon.

The rise of the "Taiwan independence war cat" is its own thing

Looking back at Xiao Meiqin's story, she was born in Kobe, Japan, went to the United States to study in high school, and has a master's degree in political science from Columbia University. His father, Xiao Qingfen, was the director of the Taiwanese independence Tainan Theological Seminary, and his mother, Peggy Colley, a European-American, had long been a music teacher. Due to her family background and Xiao Meiqin's active participation in the Taiwan independence student movement during her studies in the United States, she was hired by then DPP Chairman Hsu Hsin-liang as the director of the party's international affairs department in 1997, and was the youngest first-level party affairs director of the DPP at that time.

Hsiao began to gain a foothold in Taiwanese politics by gaining the reuse of Chen Shui-bian, serving as his adviser and accompanying interpreter during Chen's presidency. As for Tsai Ing-wen's great power, her relationship with Xiao Meiqin can be called a "best secret", not only for the DPP to "open up territory" in Hualien County, which has been monopolized by the Kuomintang for many years, but also as the Tsai Ing-wen government's first-line liaison and communication window to the United States. In 2022, after the DPP's disastrous defeat in the "nine-in-one" general election, the cabinet was adjusted, and it was rumored that Xiao Meiqin returned to Taiwan to take over as foreign minister, but in the end there was no change, showing Tsai Ing-wen's dependence on Xiao's work in the United States.

In 2020, Xiao Meiqin became Taiwan's representative to the United States, in order to satirize Chinese mainland's "wolf warrior diplomacy", so she called herself "Taiwan's war cat", declaring that "cats can walk tightropes and maintain balance in a flexible and flexible way". At the same time, it has actively shaped its close relationship with the Washington government, such as being invited to Joe Biden's inauguration in January 2021, which was described as the first time since Washington severed diplomatic relations with Taipei and established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1, when a Taiwanese representative was invited to participate in an official form, which was described as an "epoch-making milestone".

Later, I saw a group of US officials and congressmen landing at Taipei's Songshan Airport on a special plane, and there were frequent activities in Taiwan's high-level political circles, and Xiao Meiqin's lobbying figure in the United States could be seen behind it. For example, Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the US House of Representatives, insisted on visiting Taiwan, causing turmoil in the Taiwan Strait, and some data show that from February 2018 to April 2, Taiwan contacted Pelosi 2022 times through the public relations agency of former US Congressman Dick Gephardt, spending a total of nearly US$4.16 million, including 315 contacts from the representative office in the United States, 8 contacts from Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs, and 5 contacts from the Democratic Progressive Party.

In addition, Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State of the "Wolf of Resistance Against China" during President Donald Trump, visited Taiwan in March 2022 after leaving office and publicly advocated that "Taiwan, Republic of China" is a "sovereign state" and that the United States should give "diplomatic recognition" to shake the Taiwan Strait. It was later reported that Taiwan's representative office in the United States signed a contract with a US political public relations company to invite Pompeo to Taiwan with a gratuity of $3,15.

Twice on the list of Taiwan independence diehards

Xiao Meiqin's "war cat" personality was even more evident during her tenure in the United States, and when the Russian-Ukrainian conflict broke out in February 2022, Xiao Meiqin, who is also the "makeup artist" of the Democratic Progressive Party government in the United States, wrote a book to the Washington Post with the title "Ukraine's Enlightenment to Taiwan: We Must Confront Authoritarianism". The article highlights the determination and resilience shown by the Ukrainian people to resist the Russian invasion, inspiring Taiwan and strengthening its commitment to defend freedom. The article made the Tsai Ing-wen government consistent with mainstream Western public opinion on the Russia-Ukraine issue; It also triggered Zhu Haiquan, then Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in the United States, to submit a letter of criticism, accusing Xiao Wen of using the situation in Ukraine to vainly try to change the fact that both sides of the strait belong to one China, and that the Taiwan issue is not democracy against authoritarianism, but a struggle for separatism and anti-separatism.

In the eyes of the New York Times and other mainstream media in the United States, Xiao Meiqin is called "one of the most influential envoys in Washington", and also said that she is in a gray area, enjoying the influence of "insiders" in Washington who directly connects to the Biden administration and Congress, but must endure a peculiar outsider status. The New York Times reported that Xiao Meiqin spoke with senior Biden administration officials almost daily and was in close contact with leaders of both parties in Congress.

A spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council announced on 4 April that the sanctions against Taiwan independence diehard Taiwan representative in the United States Xiao Meiqin were the second time that Xiao Meiqin was included in the sanctions list. The first was after then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan in August 7, and this time Tsai Ing-wen met with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California on April 2022. (Screenshot from the official website of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council)

This is the image created by Xiao Meiqin, and it is also the epitome of the "Taiwan card" between the United States and the DPP authorities: the United States and Taiwan join hands to fight the hegemonic China of "autocracy" with the gentle power of "democracy and freedom". However, when Xiao Meiqin relied on "money" and "power" on the front line to create "rock-solid US-Taiwan relations", it also meant that the Tsai Ing-wen government turned to the United States on the one hand, and did not hesitate to sacrifice everything (for example, Xiao Meiqin vigorously defended the import of "Lai pig" into Taiwan), which hit cross-strait relations to the bottom.

In August 2022, the State Taiwan Office released the first list of Taiwan independence diehards, and Xiao Meiqin ranked first. In April 8, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council announced sanctions against Taiwan independence diehards, and Xiao Meiqin was on the list for the second time. She wrote on Twitter in a giggling tone: "Wow, the People's Republic of China just announced sanctions against me, this is the second time!" "If the CCP in Beijing thinks that by sanctioning us, it can limit Taiwan's international space and ban the Taiwanese people from speaking out, they are wrong." Where there is oppression, there is resistance." The problem is that her frivolous tone, in addition to creating populist sentiments of "great internal propaganda" in Taiwan, also shows that she is the leading figure in Beijing's eyes to introduce "external forces" and create "Taiwan independence and separatism", which is extremely destructive to cross-strait relations.

Today, Lai Qingde is fighting for the 2024 election, through transit the United States and accepting exclusive interviews with US media, trying to dilute the image of "Taiwan independence workers" and "Taiwan independence golden grandchildren", but this label he has attached to his body may have become a big trouble that is difficult to tear off. And Xiao Meiqin's proud image of "Taiwan war cat", in addition to feeling good about himself, continues to let Taiwan go to the abyss of war crisis. Some media described "Lai Xiao matching" as "unique match", which is not unreasonable, although Xiao Meiqin can add points to Lai Qingde in the election campaign, but is it a plus or deduction of points in cross-strait relations and geopolitical situations? This problem can only be glimpsed after Lai Qingde's deputy is officially revealed.

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