President Tsai named global thinker of 2016

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was named one of the global thinkers of 2016 by the U.S.-based Foreign Policy magazine, an honor that Taiwan’s Presidential Office said was shared by the people of Taiwan.

Tsai was listed in the decision-makers category of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016” for not kowtowing to China, according to the magazine.

In its citation, Foreign Policy said that since Tsai took office in May as Taiwan’s first female president, she has made the island’s sovereignty a top, albeit controversial, priority.

“Distancing her administration from the pro-China stance of her predecessor, she has cozied up to Japan by brokering a mechanism to deal with maritime disputes, dropped charges against locals who protested against a Taipei-Beijing trade pact, and reversed school syllabus changes that emphasize links to the mainland,” the magazine said.

In her National Day address on Oct. 10, Tsai also called on Beijing to restart negotiations on the island nation’s status, urging China to recognize the reality of Taiwan’s existence and saying that the people of Taiwan have an unshakable faith in the democratic system, the magazine noted.

Commenting on the magazine’s recognition of Taiwan’s leader, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said the responsibility of a president is to lead reforms that will improve the country and welfare of its people.

Tsai’s listing as a global thinker is recognition not just of the president but also of the efforts of the Taiwanese people in the areas of democracy and freedom, he said.

“The strengthening of Taiwan in these and other areas has been seen by the whole world,” Huang said.

On the list of “100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2016,” others in the decision-makers category included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for “designing a humane refugee policy,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel for “keeping the doors ajar,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for “outrunning Donald Trump to save the planet,” and U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for “going high when others go low.”

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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