Across the Strait and around the Globe: A Conversation with Dr. Tsai Ing-wen
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The result of Taiwan's January 2012 presidential election will have significant implications for cross-Strait relations and for Taipei’s foreign Listen to Audio

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and economic policies. Incumbent Ma Ying-Jeou and challenger Tsai Ing-wen offer competing visions of Taiwan’s economic and political future and the protection of its national security. What is the best way to engage China while deterring aggression? What should Taiwan’s America policy be? How can Taiwan break its international isolation?

Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, the current Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman and presidential candidate, will address these and other questions at an AEI event on September 13.
12:45 PM

01:00 PM

DR. TSAI ING-WEN, Chairwoman of Democratic Progressive Party

01:40 PM
Question and Answer Session

Event Summary

WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER 13, 2011—In her remarks today at the American Enterprise Institute, Tsai Ing-wen, current chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of Taiwan and the party's presidential candidate, discussed her planned approach to economic, political and security issues if the  she wins Taiwan's January 2012 presidential election. She focused on issues that have occupied the international community and news media since her candidacy began, including United States–Taiwan relations and the DPP's policy toward China. Tsai expressed her appreciation for the US support of Taiwan and its security but called for expanding cooperation with the United States and with other Asian countries to avoid the political and diplomatic marginalization of Taiwan. Additionally, she discussed how her approach toward China differs from current President Ma Ying-jeou's by voicing the DPP's reservations about and intent to review last year's Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement. She also emphasized her intention to maintain stability in the cross-Strait relationship and the importance of promoting a true "Taiwan consensus" among the people before any changes are made to the status quo.



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Speaker Biographies

Dan Blumenthal is the director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on East Asian security issues and on Sino-American relations. He has recently been named a research associate in the National Asia Research Program, a joint undertaking of the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has served on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission since 2005, including as vice chairman in 2007, and has been a member of the Academic Advisory Board for the congressional US-China Working Group. Previously, Mr. Blumenthal was senior director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia in the office of the secretary of defense for international security affairs during George W. Bush's first administration. He has written articles and op-eds for the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, National Review, and numerous edited volumes.

Tsai Ing-wen is the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate for Taiwan’s January 2012 election and the current DPP chairperson. Before entering public service, Ms. Tsai was a lawyer and university professor. During the 1990s she was one of the key negotiators for Taiwan’s accession to the World Trade Organization. Her outstanding performance led to her recruitment to the National Security Council of Taiwan as a national security advisor to former president Lee Teng-hui. Following the DPP election victory in 2000, she became the new government’s minister for China affairs, or chairperson of the Mainland Affairs Commission. She joined the DPP in 2004 and was nominated as a legislator-at-large. The following year, she became the deputy premier. Following the DPP’s election defeat in 2008, party members urged Ms. Tsai to carry on the challenging task of rebuilding the party and elected her as the first female leader of a major political party in Taiwan. Ms. Tsai graduated from the College of Law at the National Taiwan University in 1978 and received her master’s degree from Cornell University Law School in 1980. She also earned a PhD from the London School of Economics in 1984.

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