I first met Hsiao Bi-Khim on a sidewalk during Taiwan’s 2008 election campaign. Sitting on a low plastic yellow stool, wearing a stylish white trouser suit, she was stuffing leaflets into envelopes. An elderly couple came up and greeted her. She gave them a pile, set them to work, then turned her attention to my question.
Hsiao was a candidate for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, founded in the mid-1980s on a platform of winning formal independence from China. She is now her government’s representative to the US, although not technically an ambassador because under the One China Policy, Taiwan has no diplomatic status in America and most of the world. […]