Taiwanese politics is a male-dominated world, Tsai Ing-wen received her Ph.D. from LSE aged 28 and went on to become a university professor, after a decade working in international affairs, a series of coincidences led her to the attention of senior officials, and into a government career.

In 2000 she was appointed mainland affairs minister, over the next 16 years, her career advanced in leaps and bounds. In 2016, she became Taiwan’s first female president.

What does it take to cut such a historic figure? and how does a reserved, cautious academic develop the capacities to rise through the ranks? many admire Tsai’s international outlook and her handling of cross-strait affairs, but they may be less familiar with her background and early years. Today let’s learn about the life of Tsai Ing-wen.