President Tsai named 15th most powerful woman in the world

President Tsai Ing-wen is welcomed by an elementary school student on Oct. 28, 2017 during her three-nation tour in the Pacific. The president has been ranked No. 15 on Forbes magazine's 2017 list of the most powerful women in the world, which was published Wednesday. (CNA)

NEW YORK (CNA) – President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has been ranked No. 15 on Forbes magazine’s 2017 list of the most powerful women in the world, which was published Wednesday.

For the second time, Tsai has been named among the top 20 on the list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” moving up from 17th last year to 15th in 2017.

Noting that Tsai is the first female leader of Taiwan, the magazine said she shattered precedent by speaking directly to U.S. President Donald Trump last year, which made her the first Taiwanese president to speak to a U.S. president since 1979.

“At home, she has implemented a five-industry plan to stimulate the economy, focusing on biotech, pharmaceuticals, national defense, smart machinery, green energy and the Internet of Things,” her profile reads on the Forbes list. “The plan seems to be paying off. As of July 2017, trade with China is up.”

Topping the list for the seventh consecutive year was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by British Prime Minister Theresa May, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Melinda Gates, and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, in that order.

At number 19 was newcomer Ivanka Trump, whom Forbes said was a key player in the U.S. White House and the de facto first lady, given her stepmother Melania Trump’s decision to stay out of the limelight.

On Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women in politics, President Tsai was ranked third after Merkel and May. 

By Lu Ying-chi and Kuan-lin Liu