Why Taiwanese Americans Are Voting for Joe Biden

Why Taiwanese Americans Are Voting for Joe Biden
Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG Images

What you need to know

While many people in Taiwan favor a Trump presidency due to his anti-CCP rhetoric, many in the Taiwanese American community have a different opinion.

In less than a day, U.S. citizens will vote to decide the next president come January, 2021. While many people in Taiwan favor a Trump presidency due to his anti-CCP rhetoric, many in the Taiwanese American community have a different opinion.

Many Taiwanese Americans, in fact, are voting for Biden for the stable leadership he will provide and for the belief that his administration will come to Taiwan’s defense in times of need. By contrast, a second Trump administration, with its leader’s unreliability and unpredictability, cannot guarantee Taiwan’s security in the years to come.

Believing Biden will safeguard Taiwan from a Chinese invasion, a group of Taiwanese Americans have been working tirelessly since August to mobilize the community to vote for him. The grassroots group, Taiwanese Americans for Biden, began with five people who were passionate about Taiwan, and through their all-nighter efforts, they have grown the group to almost 800 in just two months.

The Biden campaign, the first from a major U.S. presidential ticket, recognized Taiwanese Americans as an official affinity group as part of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) for Biden coalition. This is a testament to the campaign’s commitment to the Taiwanese community and a milestone that has put Taiwan on the world map. With Taiwanese Americans recognized, their voices about protecting Taiwan’s democracy and its way of life are more likely to be heard in a Biden administration and the Democratic Party.

The leaders of Taiwanese Americans for Biden are long-time advocates for Taiwan and the Taiwanese community in America. In May, some of them launched the “Write In Taiwanese” campaign to encourage Taiwanese Americans to identify as Taiwanese in the U.S. census. The goal is to have the United States include Taiwanese, as Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Asian Indian, and Vietnamese, in its race and ethnicity category in the survey.

Many are descendants of those who were persecuted for speaking up for Taiwan over three decades ago, when the country was still under military dictatorship.

These Taiwanese Americans, like many Trump supporters, support a free and democratic Taiwan, but they might have a different opinion about who can protect Taiwan and its hard won freedoms. In Joe Biden, they see a stable leadership that can do so. There is no way a divided America under Trump, withdrawn from global leadership, can fully support Taiwan in times of need.

Photo Credit:AP / TPG Images
Supporters watch the program outside the venue where Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is speaking, during the final day of the Democratic National Convention, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

Donald Trump talks tough on China, but after nearly four years in office, he has accomplished little. He praised the Chinese President Xi Jin-ping and sold out American workers in favor of a weak trade deal with China. He has also abandoned American values on the world stage, looking the other way as the Chinese government cracked down on Hong Kong and put more than a million Uyghurs in internment camps in Xinjiang.

Joe Biden recognizes the Chinese challenge to the United States and is clear-eyed about the competition. He will stand up for our values and speak up for democracy and human rights.

A Biden administration will invest in the economic strength at home and work with allies to hold the Chinese government accountable for its trade abuses. He will put America back in a position of strength to deter Chinese aggression.

Biden has also shown his willingness to work with Taiwan, with congratulatory messages to President Tsai on her reelection and his emphasis on strong bipartisan support of Taiwan. He also praised how Taiwan handled the pandemic and pledged to strengthen Taiwan-U.S. relations in his World Journal op-ed last week.

Supporting the Biden-Harris ticket is an easy choice for Taiwanese American voters. Biden and Harris are widely seen as thoughtful and compassionate leaders who are committed to ensuring that every member of the AAPI community is treated with dignity, no matter their race or ethnicity, and has a fair shot at the American Dream.

In stark contrast with Trump, they will ensure affordable healthcare for all Americans, combat discrimination against AAPIs, protect the rights of immigrants and minority groups, and defend democracy both at home and abroad.

With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House, the United States will once again be able to boast of the common values of promoting human rights and striving for equality and respect for the democratic values it shares with Taiwan.

Rath Wang is on the steering committee of Taiwanese Americans for Biden.

READ NEXT: How Trump and Biden Differ on Taiwan

TNL Editor: Bryan Chou, Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)

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