President Tsai sworn in, commences her second term

Photo courtesy of CNA

TAIPEI (CNA) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took her oath of office at the Presidential Office on Wednesday and formally commenced her second four-year term as the president of the Republic of China, Taiwan’s formal name.

Tsai, 63, of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was sworn in at 9 a.m. in a simple ceremony that was broadcast on television and live streamed on social media.

Former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) then was sworn in as vice president, succeeding Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), who stepped down after one term.

Tsai will deliver her inauguration speech at around 10 a.m. in an outdoor area of the Taipei Guest House and receive members of the diplomatic corps.

No overseas dignitaries have been invited to attend the ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tsai won re-election in January by a 57-39 percent margin over Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the Kuomintang (KMT).

On Tuesday evening, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a congratulatory message for Tsai’s inauguration, becoming the first high-level foreign government official to do so.

“Her re-election by a huge margin shows that she has earned the respect, admiration, and trust of the people on Taiwan,” Pompeo said in the statement.

Pompeo said Tsai’s courage and vision in leading Taiwan’s vibrant democracy is an inspiration to the region and the world, and he said he is confident that the U.S.-Taiwan partnership will continue to flourish under her leadership.

According to Taiwan’s foreign ministry, this was the first time a U.S. secretary of state issued a congratulatory message for such an occasion.