78 Facts About Tsai Ing-wen


Tsai Ing-wen is a Taiwanese politician who has served as the president of the Republic of China since 2016.


Tsai Ing-wen served as chair of the DPP from 2020 to 2022, and previously from 2008 to 2012 and 2014 to 2018.


Tsai Ing-wen grew up in Taipei and studied law and international trade, and later became a law professor at Soochow University School of Law and National Chengchi University after earning an LLB from National Taiwan University and an LLM from Cornell Law School.


Tsai Ing-wen later studied law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, with her thesis titled "Unfair trade practices and safeguard actions", and was awarded a Ph.


Tsai Ing-wen joined the DPP in 2004 and served briefly as a DPP-nominated at-large member of the Legislative Yuan, and was then appointed as Vice Premier under Premier Su Tseng-chang until the cabinet's mass resignation in 2007.


Tsai Ing-wen ran for New Taipei City mayorship in the 2010 municipal elections but was defeated by the KMT candidate, Eric Chu.


Internationally, Tsai Ing-wen has been praised for her response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for standing up to pressure from the Government of the People's Republic of China.

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Tsai Ing-wen resigned as head of the Democratic People's Party in November 2022, citing her party's poor performance in local elections earlier that month.


Tsai Ing-wen was born at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Zhongshan District, Taipei City on 31 August 1956, the youngest of nine children.


Tsai Ing-wen's father, Tsai Chieh-sheng, was a businessman who ran an auto repair shop, and her mother Chang Chin-fong was a housewife.


Tsai Ing-wen's given name, Ing-wen, was chosen by genealogical naming practices.


Tsai Ing-wen studied law at the behest of her father.


Tsai Ing-wen then studied law at the London School of Economics and was awarded a Ph.


Tsai Ing-wen served as consultant for the Mainland Affairs Council and the National Security Council.


Tsai Ing-wen led the drafting team on the Statute Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau.


In 2000, Tsai Ing-wen was given the high-profile appointment of chair of the Mainland Affairs Council.


Tsai Ing-wen was nominated by the DPP to be a candidate in the 2004 legislative election and was elected as a legislator-at-large.


On 26 January 2006, Tsai Ing-wen was appointed to the post of vice president of the Executive Yuan, a position commonly referred to as vice premier.


Tsai Ing-wen concurrently served as chairwoman of the Consumer Protection Commission.


Tsai Ing-wen then served as the chair of TaiMedBiologics, a biotechnology company based in Taiwan.


The Kuomintang accused Tsai Ing-wen of contracting government work out to TaiMedBiologics during her term as vice premier, while planning to leave the government and lead the company afterward.


On 19 May 2008, Tsai Ing-wen defeated Koo Kwang-ming in the election for DPP chair, and succeeded outgoing Frank Hsieh as the 12th-term chair of the party.


Tsai Ing-wen was the first woman to chair a major Taiwanese political party.


Tsai Ing-wen took office on 20 May 2008, the same day Ma Ying-jeou was inaugurated as president.


Tsai Ing-wen said that DPP would work to deepen the Taiwanese localization movement while defending social justice.

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Tsai Ing-wen criticized Ma for mentioning closer Cross-Strait relations but nothing about Taiwan's sovereignty and national security.


Tsai Ing-wen criticized Ma's government for not answering her question and labeling others.


On 25 April 2010, Tsai Ing-wen participated in a televised debate against President and Kuomintang chairman Ma Ying-jeou over a proposed trade agreement, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement ; while President Ma believed ECFA would increase Taiwanese exports to mainland China and lower unemployment rates, Tsai Ing-wen said it "will force Taiwan to open up for cheap Chinese exports eventually" and certain domestic industries will be harmed by the mainland trade invasion.


Tsai Ing-wen said that the pact "will make Taiwan lose its independence in cross-strait relations and become a Chinese parasite" and that Taiwan should negotiate with China under the multilateral-framework World Trade Organization, which would offer more trade protections and emphasize Taiwan's distinct status.


Tsai Ing-wen made a controversial statement in May 2010 claiming that the Republic of China was a "government-in-exile" non-native to Taiwan; however on 8 October 2011, two days prior to the 100-year anniversary celebrations of the Double Ten Day, Tsai Ing-wen changed her statement, stating that "The ROC is Taiwan, Taiwan is the ROC, and the current ROC government is no longer ruled by a non-native political power".


Tsai Ing-wen resigned as chair of the DPP after losing her 2012 presidential election bid to incumbent Ma Ying-jeou.


On 15 March 2014, Tsai Ing-wen announced that she would once more run for party chief of the DPP against incumbent Su Tseng-chang and Frank Hsieh.


Tsai Ing-wen defeated Kaohsiung County deputy commissioner Kuo Tai-lin by 79,676 votes.


Tsai Ing-wen led the DPP to an historic victory in the local elections held on 29 November 2014, in which the party secured leadership of 13 of Taiwan's 22 municipalities and counties.


Tsai Ing-wen resumed the Democratic Progressive Party leadership from Cho Jung-tai on 20 May 2020, when she was inaugurated for her second presidential term.


Tsai Ing-wen resigned as party leader following the 2022 Taiwanese local elections.


On 11 March 2011, Tsai Ing-wen officially announced her run for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Progressive Party.


On 27 April 2011, Tsai Ing-wen became the first female presidential candidate in Taiwan after she defeated former Premier Su Tseng-chang by a small margin in a nationwide phone poll that served as the party's primary.


Tsai Ing-wen ran against incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang and James Soong of the People First Party in the 5th direct presidential election, which was held on 14 January 2012.


On 15 February 2015, Tsai Ing-wen officially registered for the Democratic Progressive Party's presidential nomination primary.


Tsai Ing-wen announced on 19 February 2019 via an interview with CNN that she would run for reelection as president in 2020.


Tsai Ing-wen registered to run in the Democratic Progressive Party presidential primary on 21 March 2019.


Tsai Ing-wen defeated William Lai in the primary, and the Democratic Progressive Party nominated her as its candidate for the 2020 presidential election on 19 June 2019.


In early December 2016, Tsai Ing-wen held an unprecedented telephone call with President-elect Donald Trump.


In January 2021, Tsai Ing-wen met with United States Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft by video link.

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In March 2023, Tsai Ing-wen is set to travel to the United States on a 10-day tour of the Americas.


Tsai Ing-wen will stop in New York before visiting Guatemala and Belize, before heading to Los Angeles before heading back to Taiwan.


Tsai Ing-wen believed that broad consultations should be held at all levels of Taiwanese society to decide the basis on which to advance negotiations with Beijing, dubbed the "Taiwan consensus".


Tsai Ing-wen vowed to work within the Republic of China governing framework in addition to preserving the progress made in cross-strait relations by previous governments, while preserving "freedom and democracy" for the residents of Taiwan.


Tsai Ing-wen believes in the importance of economic and trade links with mainland China, but publicly spoke out against the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, a preferential trade agreement that increased economic links between Taiwan and mainland China.


Tsai Ing-wen has accused the Communist Party of China's troll army of spreading fake news via social media to influence voters and support candidates more sympathetic to Beijing ahead of the 2018 Taiwanese local elections.


Tsai Ing-wen responded to Xi in a January 2019 speech by stating that Taiwan rejects "one country, two systems" and that because Beijing equates the 1992 Consensus with "one country, two systems", Taiwan rejects the 1992 Consensus as well.


Tsai Ing-wen expressed her solidarity with Hong Kong protesters, remarking that Taiwan's democracy was hard-earned and had to be guarded and renewed.


Tsai Ing-wen has traditionally been supportive of disadvantaged groups in society, including the poor, women and children, Taiwanese indigenous peoples, and LGBT groups.


Tsai Ing-wen advocated for the non-partisanship of the president of the Legislative Yuan, the increase in the number of "at-large" seats in the legislature, the broadening of participation among all political parties and interest groups.


Tsai Ing-wen has called for the de-polarization of Taiwanese politics, and advocates for a more open and consensus-based approach to addressing issues and passing legislation.


On 31 October 2015, when the biggest gay pride parade in Asia was held in Taipei, Tsai Ing-wen expressed her support for same-sex marriage.


Tsai Ing-wen posted a 15-second video on her Facebook page saying "I am Tsai Ing-wen, and I support marriage equality" and "Let everyone be able to freely love and pursue happiness".


However during the presidency, Tsai Ing-wen delayed the process to legalize same-sex marriage due to opposition from conservative and religious groups.


Tsai Ing-wen outlined an economic policy of diversification via the New Southbound Policy as well as prioritization of innovative industries.


Tsai Ing-wen outlined her economic policy, which included transitioning from manufacturing to high-tech industries, with a focus on existing semiconductor and information and communications technology industries, cybersecurity, biotechnology and healthcare, domestic production of military equipment, green energy and strategically-critical industries.


Tsai Ing-wen proposed goals for defense reform, including a focus on asymmetric warfare, maintenance of a military reserve force, and reform in management to reflect a democratic society.


On 29 June 2020, Tsai Ing-wen announced measures to shore up Taiwan's military reserves, including assigning them the same combat gear as active servicemembers and synchronization of mobilization.


On 11 March 2022, a special force soldier wrote to Tsai Ing-wen, reporting that insufficient basic logistic supply compelled combatants to purchase equipment from outsider suppliers at their own expense for two years, then being disqualified as non-standard upon inspection, in contrast of the reserve trainees receiving new sets; and appealed to abolish the mandatory diary writing for examination.


Tsai Ing-wen credited the talks with spurring 20 years of dialogue and exchange between the two sides.

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Tsai Ing-wen hoped that exchanges would continue on the basis of these historical facts, as well as the existence of the Republic of China constitutional system and democratic will of the Taiwanese people.


Tsai Ing-wen responded to Xi in a January 2019 speech by stating that Taiwan rejects "one country, two systems" and that because Beijing equates the 1992 Consensus with "one country, two systems", Taiwan rejects the 1992 Consensus as well.


On October 10,2021 During her speech on the Double Tenth Day, President Tsai Ing-wen solemnly rejected the idea of "complete unification of Chinese motherland" through a peaceful unification under "One country, two systems" proposed by the Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the 72nd Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.


Tsai Ing-wen insisted "the two sides of the Taiwan Strait do not belong to each other".


Tsai Ing-wen campaigned on a promise to make Taiwan nuclear-free by 2025, which was codified into law on 11 January 2017 via amendments to the Electricity Act.


The Tsai Ing-wen administration proposed a lay judge system modelled after Japan's over a jury system proposed by the New Power Party.


The Tsai Ing-wen administration took actions to preserve languages facing a crisis of inheritance and to put them on more equal footing to Mandarin.


Tsai Ing-wen's mother is Chang Chin-fong, the last of her father's four wives.


Tsai Ing-wen has seven elder half-siblings on her father's side and a half-brother on her mother's side.


Tsai Ing-wen is the first Taiwanese president of aboriginal descent, and the second of Hakka descent after Lee Teng-hui.


Tsai Ing-wen is unmarried and has no children, making her Taiwan's first unmarried president.


However, Tsai Ing-wen's father believed the former to have too many strokes for her to learn, so she was instead named, which can be literally translated by its individual parts as "heroic" and "literature".


Tsai Ing-wen is known to be a cat lover, and her two cats, "Think Think" and "Ah Tsai Ing-wen", featured prominently in her election campaign.