Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s first female president has been sworn into office after winning the presidential polls in January. Almost 700 dignitaries from 59 countries watched Tsai, leader of the Beijing-skeptic Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), receive the presidential seal at Taipei’s Ching-kuo Hall.

The 59-year-old former law professor who studied in The U.S takes over from outgoing Kuomintang (KMT, or Nationalist Party) President Ma Ying-jeou, who was ineligible for re-election after two four-year terms.

“At this moment, Taiwan’s situation is very difficult,” said Tsai in her inauguration speech. “I invite every fellow citizen to carry the future of this country.”

“Taiwan has been a model citizen in global civil society,” Tsai told the 20,000 capacity crowd, “Since our democratization, we have persisted in upholding the universal values of peace, freedom, democracy and human rights.”

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