By: Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen’s inauguration as Taiwan’s first-ever woman president is now only two weeks away, and speculation is mounting as to how relations between Taiwan and China will evolve under her stewardship.
The long transition period since the January 16 election has been overshadowed by the selections for her government team and occasionally interrupted by media storms about comments by team members deemed inappropriate. Most of those incidents focused on issues not directly related to the China issue, such as pork imports from the United States and expropriations of private homes.
As May 20 approaches, and the world expects Tsai to present an inaugural speech, speculation has mounted as to what the new president will say. She is only the second head of state to come from the DPP, a party she only joined after serving as minister of the Mainland Affairs Council under the first DPP president, Chen Shui-bian.
That era, from 2000 to 2008, was marked by tense incidents such as China’s passage of a so-called “Anti-Secession Act” targeted at Taiwan and by “defensive referendums” on the island.
After the Kuomintang returned to power and President Ma Ying-jeou was elected in 2008, there followed eight years of rapid improvements – but too rapid to many Taiwanese, who have accused Ma of sacrificing Taiwan’s dignity and sovereignty in return for trade and other deals that locked in the island tighter to the Chinese economy. [FULL STORY]