Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States as his wife Jill Biden holds a bible on the West Front of the US Capitol in Washington, US. Reuters
Taiwan’s ties with its most important global backer the United States are off to a strong start under President Joe Biden’s government, after the island’s de facto ambassador attended an inauguration for the first time with an official invitation.
Former President Donald Trump’s administration ramped up support for Taiwan, increasing arms sales and sending senior officials to Taipei, angering China and stirring even greater enmity from Beijing towards Washington.
That had made Trump a popular figure in democratic Taiwan, which China views as its own territory, to be taken by force if needed, and raised concern in its government that Biden may not be as helpful.
Emily Horne, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said the US commitment to Taiwan was “rock-solid” after the island’s de facto ambassador in Washington, Hsiao Bi-khim, attended Biden’s swearing in on Wednesday.
“President Biden will stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values in the Asia-Pacific region - and that includes Taiwan.”
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it was the first time an inauguration committee had formally invited the island’s Washington representative and showed the close friendship between Taiwan and the United States based on shared values.
“These shared values are democracy, freedom and human rights,” said ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou.
The United States ended formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979, switching recognition to China, though Washington is bound by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself.
In a video message on her Twitter account, Hsiao, who is close to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, said she was honoured to be there representing Taiwan’s government and people.
“Democracy is our common language and freedom is our common objective,” she said.
Tsai sent her congratulations too, saying she hoped the two sides could work together to maintain regional democracy, freedom, peace and stability.
Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said on Tuesday he was in favour of greater engagement with Taiwan.
Tsai met Blinken in 2015 at the State Department when he was deputy secretary of state and she was the presidential candidate for Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party.
Biden’s first day is expected to be packed, with aides saying recently he would sign perhaps a dozen executive orders that could address the pandemic, the ailing US economy, climate change and racial injustice in America.
The demonstrator, Mark Leggiero, travelled to New York State Capitol under the impression that he would be protesting President Biden’s inauguration alongside thousands of Trump supporters
Biden, putting his hand on a family Bible, repeated after Chief Justice John Roberts the presidential oath -- that he will "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Thick fog continued to form for the second day in a row across various parts in the country on Thursday. The fog lasted for 12 hours and a half in several areas of the country on Thursday, as it started at exactly 10 pm and continued until 10:30am, because of the country being affected by surface high-pressure systems, accompanied with a ridge of upper air high pressure, according to the National Centre for Meteorology (NCM).
The Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, has strengthened Sharjah’s status as a child, youth, and family-friendly city in 2021 by implementing 30 initiatives and campaigns, and through its participation in local and international events. SCFO also announced that its endeavour in 2021 included 14 new activities that targeted 426 participants from various organisations and institutions.
Dubai Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the man in the picture. The African national was found dead in the jurisdiction area of Bur Dubai Police Station with no identification documents
Welcoming the participants, His Highness said: "Dubai provides the safest environment for participants from around the world to discuss ideas and exchange knowledge and insights that contribute to creating a better future for humanity."