Taiwan's representative in the United States attended President Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, reportedly the first such attendance based on an official invitation since Washington switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
The attendance comes after Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, indicated Tuesday the new administration will remain tough on China, saying that the approach taken by the administration of former President Donald Trump was "right."
The Trump administration took a series of steps to draw closer to Taiwan in defiance of China, which regards the self-ruled island as a renegade province awaiting unification, by force if necessary.
"Honored to represent the people and government of Taiwan here at the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris," tweeted Hsiao Bi-khim, who heads the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington, Taiwan's de facto embassy in the United States.
Honored to represent the people and government of Taiwan here at the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris. pic.twitter.com/KSatj8vIln— Bi-khim Hsiao 蕭美琴 (@bikhim) January 20, 2021
The official invitation extended to her "highlights the close and cordial ties between Taiwan and the United States based on shared values," Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"The government will build on existing solid foundations and work with the Biden administration to further promote exchanges and cooperation in all areas and at all levels, so as to strengthen the comprehensive cooperative partnership between Taiwan and the United States.