Taiwan: President Tsai Ing-wen Inauguration ReceptionShare Event on Facebook Share Event on Twitter Share Event on LinkedIn
Taiwan’s new president is a woman. Tsai Ing-wen who won the Taiwanese election with a landslide victory in January and was sworn in on Friday 20 May will be the most influential woman in the Chinese speaking world and a formidable president for this small island country that sits uneasily across the straits from the People’s Republic.
What kind of leader will she be and how will she deal with the formidable presence of the other China is what many discussed at the reception in Canberra for her inauguration held in Taipei where we are told a few Australian parliamentary representatives found time in their busy election campaigns to zip off for a bit of a knees up for the occasion
Tsai Ing-wen is the youngest of nine in her family, and her background gives an insight into this unmarried lawyer who is quietly spoken and believes in consensus based approach to passing legislation. She studied at both Cornell University and the London School of Economics and became a university lecturer in law on her return to Taiwan. She supports same sex marriage and famously posted on her Facebook page ......”let everyone be able to freely love and pursue happiness”, when the biggest gay pride parade in Asia was held in Taipei in October 2015.
This is a leader who will be at the forefront of a changing China in the region as islands are built and the super powers puff their chests and make token forays to test the waters.
Tsai Ing-wen, whose name literally translates as ‘English literature’ will need more than most leaders to cope. Hopefully Hillary Clinton will be among her supporters, the alternative is still too hard to contemplate.