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Taiwan Has Just Elected Its First Ever Female President

In a landslide victory, that’s set to exacerbate already strenuous ties with China, self-ruled Taiwan has elected its first female President Tsai Ing-wen.

This is her second attempt to gain presidency after the London School of Economics postgraduate had considered a return to academia before deciding to launching another attempt at Taiwan’s highest office.

A member of the Democratic Progressive party (DPP), Tsai Ing-wen had mounted such an unstoppable opposition rival Nationalist (KMT) party with who the Taiwanese public had become increasingly disgruntled with, that her victory was inevitable. Analysts have suggested that growing public dissatisfaction with the outgoing KMT president, Ma Ying-jeou, and a dramatically weakened economy has helped propel Tsai to majority victory.

In her first address Tsai Ing-wen thanked voters: “Thank you for helping the DPP stand up again and for trusting us to govern this country,” she continued, “We will put political polarisation behind us and look forward to the arrival of a new era of politics in Taiwan. The results today tell me that the people want to see a government more willing to listen to the people, a government that is more transparent and accountable, and a government that is more capable of leading us past our current challenges and taking care of those in need. They tell me that the people expect a government that can lead this country into the next generation and a government that is steadfast in protecting this country’s sovereignty.”

Tsai’s victory will concern China’s Communist party leaders, who still hope to reabsorb Taiwan into their own territory, which has ruled itself since 1949. Beijing’s totalitarian censor checks meant that an army of hackers had already blocked her name on Saturday night as the scale of the DPP victory became clear.

She concluded her victory speech thus: “I will march forwards, together with the 23 million people of Taiwan. Together we will overcome the challenges that this country faces. We will not be divided by an election. Instead we will become even more united because of our democracy.”