About Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen
“History does not move along a straight line, but it will move forward if there is a leader with wisdom and determination.”
Current Position: DPP Chairperson
Date of Birth: August 31, 1956
Tsai, being the youngest of nine children, was named simply as “Ing-wen” by her father Tsai Chie-sheng because the said name in the Chinese character has the least amount of strokes, as opposed to the more complicated “Ying.”
Media personality Clara Chou quoted in her published book that Tsai was born to her father’s fifth wife, a statement deemed as speculative according to Tsai’s family members.
Tsai’s father was a wealthy businessman who earned his early fortunes as a real estate developer and hotelier, and was consequently a well-known property tycoon in Taipei’s Zhongshan district.
According to Tsai’s declared asset filings with the Central Election Commission, her current assets include four land properties, two buildings, and a savings account totaling NT$18 million (including mortgage.)
Taipei City’s Jhilin Elementary School; Bei-an Junior High School; Zhongshan Girls High School; College of Law at National Taiwan University (1978); Cornell University Law School - LL.M. (1980); London School of Economics – PhD in Law (1984), with a minor in International Trade.
(1) Upon her return to Taiwan, she taught law at Soochow University and National Chengchi University both in Taipei (1984-2000)
(2) She was appointed by then-president Lee Teng-hui to the Fair Trade Commission and the Copyright Commission (1992-2000). During the Chen Shui-bian presidency, she served as minister of the Mainland Affairs Council and on the National Security Council (2000~).
(3) Tsai joined the DPP in 2004 as she was subsequently nominated by the party to be a candidate in the legislative election and was elected as a legislator-at-large.
On January 23, 2006, she quit her job as legislator and was consequently appointed to the post of vice premier on January 26. She concurrently served as chairwoman of the Consumer Protection Commission.
On May 21, 2007, Tsai, along with the rest of the cabinet of out-going Premier Su Tseng-chang, resigned to make way for incoming Premier Chang Chun-hsiung and his cabinet.
DPP Chairpersonship (First term: 2008-2012):
Tsai took office as the 12th DPP Chairperson on May 20, 2008 after winning 73,865 of the votes (57.14 percent), the first-ever woman to become the party’s chairperson. In 2010, she was re-elected with 90.26 percent of the vote. Tsai resigned in 2012 as party chairperson to run for the Republic of China presidency.
Election Campaign Experience:
(1) In 2010, Tsai ran for New Taipei Mayor, but subsequently lost to the Kuomintang’s (KMT) Eric Chu with 47.39 percent to 52.61 percent of the votes.
(2) In 2011, she announced her run for the 2012 presidency (the first female candidate in the history of the R.O.C.) with DPP secretary-general Su Jia-chyuan as her running mate. On January 14, 2012, Tsai lost to President Ma Ying-jeou with 6.09 million votes to 6.89 million.
(3) On May 25, 2014, Tsai was elected as DPP chairperson with 93.71 percent of the vote.
In this file photo, Tsai travels on a campaign truck to vie for votes
Second Presidential Campaign:
On April 15, 2015, the DPP officially nominated her as its presidential candidate, where Tsai openly declared her support for the maintenance of the status quo.
She consequently appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine on June 29, 2015 under the title “She could lead the only Chinese democracy, and that makes Beijing nervous.”
The TIME report covered Tsai’s profile and political background, including her stance on cross-strait relations, visions and opinions on the future of Taiwan.
Tsai currently leads in popular support judging from the results of numerous public opinion polls. Presidential contenders Hung Hsiu-chu (KMT) and James Soong of the People First Party (PFP) are trailing far behind Tsai in terms of popularity.
The official campaign website