She is heavily influenced by her close relationship with Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen. Tsai Ing-wen represents Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party and was once its spokesperson. Shao also counts Bolton and Biden’s National Security Council head of Asia, Kurt Campbell, as a friend for decades.
For years, US authorities have barred Mr. Xiao’s predecessor from visiting the White House and the State Department. Such guidelines have eased over time, and she now visits West her wings and foggy bottoms on a regular basis, to say the least.
She’s a regular in the Capitol, like last summer when she sat next to then-House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy for a live-streamed debate by the China Task Force at his caucus. “She really has the trust of the people here in Washington,” said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund who has known Xiao for many years.
Sitting in Twin Oaks’ elegant reception hall, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a grand piano and rolling lawns, Xiao described his position as “legally informal.”
For that, she blames Beijing. “Taiwanese people resent not only being bullied, but also being told they can’t make friends,” she said.
Xiao said a growing recognition in Washington “for Taiwan as a democracy, a force for good, and a true partner of the United States” has helped. At the same time, she said the threat from the Chinese government, which seeks to absorb Taiwan, weighs heavily.