Politics & Protest SinoBeat

Taiwanese presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen on the cover of Time magazine

Taiwanese presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen will appear on the cover of the next edition of Time magazine, to go on sale from June 29.

Tsai Ing-wen appearing on front page of Time magazine

Tsai Ing-wen appearing on front page of Time magazine. Photo: Time

The chairwoman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party is shown beside the heading “She could lead the only Chinese democracy.” She is expected to contest the 2016 presidential election.

In a press release Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party said the article will focus on Tsai’s background, as well as her vision of Taiwan’s future and its relationship with China. It will also report on her position that bilateral relations between Taiwan and mainland China should remain the same, and that problems should be dealt with by “democratic processes and decisions made by the people.”

Democratic Progressive Party.

Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan. Photo: WikiMedia

Whilst seeking to maintain cross-straits relations, Tsai has also been vocal in her support of the 2014 Sunflower Movement.

The protests arose in reaction to the passing of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement that would have allowed for closer economic ties with China. Members of the opposition, including Tsai’s party, expressed concerns that closer ties would undermine small and medium sized enterprises, and leave Taiwan’s economy too reliant on mainland China.

Student protesters subsequently occupied the legislature after the ruling Kuomintang Party was accused of passing the agreement without examining the articles one by one.

Student protesters occupy Taiwanese legislature during Sunflower Movement

Student protesters occupy Taiwanese legislature during Sunflower Movement. Photo: WikiMedia

Tsai said the movement was significant because it provided a “rebirth of democracy and freedom in Taiwan after their decline in the previous seven years”.

Statement issued by Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party on Hong Kong

Statement issued by Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party on Hong Kong (in Chinese).

Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party issued a statement following the vetoing of Hong Kong’s political reform bill Thursday. It said that the voting results “reflected Hong Kong’s popular opinion”, and that “Hong Kong government and Beijing should respect Hong Kong people’s wish for democracy”. It added that the Taiwanese opposition party will “continue to concern” and “support Hong Kong people’s pursuit of democratic reform.”

Taiwanese presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen on the cover of Time magazine