Tsai Ing-wen

Tsai Ing-wen tsī ēng-wŭn [key], 1956–, Taiwanese political leader, president of Taiwan (2016–), b. Pingtung, grad. National Taiwan Univ. (LL.B., 1978), Cornell (LL.M., 1980), London School of Economics (Ph.D., 1984). She pursued a career as a law professor in Taiwan and was a negotiator for the country's 2002 entry into the World Trade Organization. A member of the Democratic Progressive party (DPP) from 2004, she became its chairwoman in 2008. Tsai rose through the party ranks, serving as minister of the mainland affairs council (2000–2004) and vice premier (2006–7) under President Chen Shui-bian. She ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Taipei in 2010, and after her loss to Ma Ying-jeou in the presidential election of 2012, she resigned as DPP chairwoman. Resuming the post in 2014, she was elected president of Taiwan in 2016, becoming the country's first female president. DPP losses in local elections in 2018, due in part to tense relations with China, led her to resign as party chairwoman. In 2020, however, she was reelected president.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Chinese, Taiwanese, and Mongolian History: Biographies