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Taiwan president rises to 9th most powerful woman in world

Tsai Ing-wen's ranking rises 28 spots over last year for bold overtures to US, handling of pandemic

President Tsai Ing-wen ranks ninth on Forbes Most Powerful Women 2021 list. (Forbes screenshot)

President Tsai Ing-wen ranks ninth on Forbes Most Powerful Women 2021 list. (Forbes screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has risen to ninth on Forbes' annual World's 100 Most Powerful Women list for 2021 due to her U.S. overtures and ongoing outstanding leadership during the pandemic, which has served as a "global model."

On Tuesday (Dec. 8), Forbes announced its annual World's 100 Most Powerful Women list for 2021. For the first time, Tsai was listed in the top 10 at ninth, a dramatic rise of 28 spots from her 37th ranking in 2020.

In the top spot was MacKenzie Scott. She was followed by Kamala Harris, Christine Lagarde, Marry Barra, Melinda French Gates, Abigail Johnson, Ana Patricia Botin, Ursula von der Leyen, Tsai, and Julie Sweet, rounding out the top 10.

In East Asia, the rest of the most powerful women trail far behind Tsai with Tokiko Shimizu at 55th, Dong Mingzhu at 58th, Yuriko Koike at 59th, Laura Cha at 69th, Joey Wat at 73th, Wang Fengying at 75th, Zhou Qunfei at 79th, Solina Chau at 81th, and Lee Boo-jin at 89th.

The magazine pointed out that Tsai became Taiwan's first female president in 2016. It observed that Tsai was reelected in 2020 with over 57% of the popular vote, which the magazine described as a "rebuke to Beijing's efforts to control the island."

Forbes praised Tsai's leadership through the pandemic as being viewed as a "global model." The publication credited Taiwan's stringent tracking and tracing efforts as preventing a mass outbreak.

The magazine's entry for Tsai noted her increased overtures to the U.S. and pledge to make "Taiwan an indispensable member of the world" through the development of its biotech, defense, and green energy sectors.

On Thursday afternoon (Dec. 9), Tsai retweeted the Forbes announcement and wrote that her presence on the list is a "testament to the determination of the Taiwanese people to protect our democracy." She then expressed her hope that her country's "resilience in the face of challenges can inspire women around the world to make a difference in their communities & on the international stage."

Updated : 2022-05-20 11:14 GMT+08:00