Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s first female president, is faced with a tall order in representing the DPP as she comes into office at a time of great tension in Cross-Strait relations. Beijing has attempted to subsume the two countries under the same “One-China” umbrella. This tension forces Tsai to carefully create policy that lays the foundation for her party’s goal of an independent Taiwan without publically denouncing China’s goal of unification. Tsai must be pragmatic and diplomatic in order to get the results she hopes to achieve. Taking office in a tense political atmosphere, the new president must maintain the status quo with China if she hopes to initiate policy that will strengthen Taiwan’s democracy, economy, and military. This task will not be easy because the Chinese government has maintained that it is willing to use force if necessary to achieve their goal of unification. In response, Tsai has taken measures to increase Taiwan’s presence in the global economy and to forge closer economic and strategic ties with other nations in the area. One potential vehicle for implementing this goal is the Trans-Pacific Partnership through which Tsai hopes to deepen Taiwan’s relationship with the United States and to open channels of communication with the greater Pacific region.
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