• Sisters Jasmine Lin and Tina Lin with the Acting Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia William Lin

    Sisters Jasmine Lin and Tina Lin with the Acting Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia William Lin

  • Nick and Sylvia Tsai

    Nick and Sylvia Tsai

  • Claire Cable and Erika Yi

    Claire Cable and Erika Yi

  • Igor Skryabin and Yu-Lan Huang

    Igor Skryabin and Yu-Lan Huang

  • Kylie Brass, Christine Parolin and Elizabeth Cameron Dalman

    Kylie Brass, Christine Parolin and Elizabeth Cameron Dalman

  • Chris Roberts, David Lovell and Anne and Neil James

    Chris Roberts, David Lovell and Anne and Neil James

  • Andrew Wall, Liu Tuo and Vicki and Lyle Dunne

    Andrew Wall, Liu Tuo and Vicki and Lyle Dunne

  • Yvonne Hsiao and Jonathan Wang

    Yvonne Hsiao and Jonathan Wang

  • Warwick Gullett, Tsan-Huang Tsai and Marmoun Alazab

    Warwick Gullett, Tsan-Huang Tsai and Marmoun Alazab

  • David Lovell, Richard Rigby and Zhang Jian

    David Lovell, Richard Rigby and Zhang Jian

  • Rhea Matthews, Veronica Oh and Joshua Morgan

    Rhea Matthews, Veronica Oh and Joshua Morgan

Taiwan: President Tsai Ing-wen Inauguration Reception

20 May 2016

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.