Office of the President – Taipei, Taiwan
Taiwan elected Tsai Ing-wen as its first female president, handing her pro-independence party its first majority in the national legislature and rejecting the China-friendly party that has led the self-governing island for eight years.
Taiwan’s first female president has vowed to build a new era of politics after sealing a historic landslide election victory that is expected to strain the state’s relationship with China.
With more than half of the votes counted, the Democratic Progressive party (DPP) candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, had built an unassailable lead over her closest rival, the Nationalist (KMT) candidate, Eric Chu.
Voters concerned that Taiwan’s economy is under threat from China and broadly opposed to Beijing’s demands for political unification resoundingly chose Tsai over the Nationalists’ Eric Chu, a late replacement in the campaign after his party’s original candidate was seen as alienating voters.
Called “Little Ying” by local media, Tsai grew up in Fenggang, a village in southern Taiwan, before moving to Taipei as a teenager.
A lawyer by training, she first studied at National Taiwan University and went on to complete a Master’s Degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D from the London School of Economics, teaching the subject for some time. She speaks English fluently and is regarded as the most internationally-minded leader the island has seen so far.
Gildshire Editor, Mia Russell