President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took the oath of office on Wednesday and began her second term as Taiwan’s first female president.
She was sworn in in a simple ceremony at the Presidential Office in downtown Taipei broadcast live on television and social media.
Former Premier Lai Ching-te was also sworn in as vice president, succeeding Chen Chien-jen, who stepped down after one term.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, several foreign dignitaries then congratulated the president on her second term in office in a string of short video messages that showed the extent of the president’s international support.
Among other highlights, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger on Wednesday congratulated President Tsai Ing-wen on her second term in office in a video recorded in Chinese in front of the White House.
The U.S. official also praised the Taiwanese people for their hard-won efforts to protect democracy and make their leaders do their jobs through free speech, rule of law and free and fair elections.
Taiwan has shown the world that the spirit of democracy is not just American or Western, but universal, he said in Chinese.
President Tsai’s inaugural address to officials and members of the diplomatic corps began at 10 a.m. with a focus on peace, parity, democracy and dialogue as the keys to cross-Taiwan Strait relations.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent Tsai a congratulatory message after her re-election, becoming the first high-ranking foreign official to do so.
In a statement, Pompeo said: “Her re-election by a huge margin shows that she has earned the respect, admiration, and trust of the people on Taiwan.
Their ability to lead Taiwan’s vibrant democracy is an inspiration to the region and the world, Pompeo said.
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