Taiwan‘s Tsai Ing-wen to take office on May 20 with plenty of challenges

May 20, 2016, 08:00 am

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By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - The presidency of Tsai Ing-wen, who won Taiwan's presidential elections back on January 16 as a representative of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) beating Kuomintang for the first time in eight years, will begin officially on May 20. However, it seems Tsai won't have time for a honeymoon period as she faces plenty of challenges ahead.

Democratic Progressivle Party (DPP) Chairperson and president-elect TsaiIng-wen holds a press conference after winning Taiwan's presidential electionson January 16, 2016. It seems she will be facing several challenges when hergovernment rolls into operation for the first day on Friday./ Source: searchengine Baidu

According to Beijing sources well aware of Taiwan related issues on Thursday, there are plenty of challenges ahead for Taiwan's new presidency. Most of all, it seems uneasy to handle relations with Beijing, which has entered tense situation since Tsai's election win in January. Basically, Tsai and DPP advocate establishing an independent Taiwan. In other words, they want "two Chinas" rather than unification of China and Taiwan. However, it is such a hard condition to accept for China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province that must be reunified with the mainland under the banner of its "One China" policy. Therefore, China has no choice but to apply great pressure by creating military tension and more. If there comes no particular solution, Tsai will likely to face tension during her four years of presidency.

Tsai's one of major challenges include reviving the island's sluggish economy, with negative growth for three consecutive quarters. However, there is no obvious motive power. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to reverse the negative earnings of the three consecutive quarters. Perhaps it would be a relieve for Taiwan if its economy shows growth this year. Obviously, Tsai and DPP's concerns are rising.

It's no easy task calming angry young Taiwanese in the midst of long-sagging economy. Young Taiwanese's self-mocking terms such as "22k" generation (a reference to their minimum monthly salary of NT$22,000, which works out to just over US$1,000) should disappear soon, but the reality is not so easy.

In addition, Taiwan's president-elect should not overlook other challenges, such as escaping Taiwan's international isolation and rolling out social and financial reforms. However, these are not short-term challenges neither. This is why Tsai is not smiling although 5 guests from the United States and a whopping 252 guests from Japan are joining Tsai's inauguration on May 20.

#Tsai Ing-wen #DPP #Taiwan #One China #KMT 
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