President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday was named among the 50 most influential people in the world by Bloomberg News.
In an introduction titled “Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s COVID Crusher,” the US-based media company said that Taiwan had gone more than 200 days without recording a locally transmitted case of COVID-19.
That success could be attributed to the quick response of Tsai’s administration, which instituted “one of the world’s most effective pandemic response protocols,” Bloomberg News said.
Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office, via CNA
Even before Tsai’s re-election on Jan. 11, the government was already responding to early reports of the virus, “preparing to close borders, impose travel restrictions, and set up rigorous contact tracing and quarantine protocols,” it said.
Taiwan also benefited from the widespread use of masks, based on its experience with a deadly SARS outbreak in 2003, the article said.
As a result, Taiwan, with a population of 23 million people, has had just over 600 COVID-19 cases and seven deaths, it said.
Because of its effective response, “Taiwan will likely be among the few economies to experience growth this year, with officials in August forecasting gross domestic product to expand 1.56 percent,” the article said.
However, it said that Taiwan must remain vigilant in light of an increase in its number of imported cases in the past few weeks.
The unranked Bloomberg 50 list, now in its fourth edition, recognizes influential figures in fields such as business, entertainment, finance, politics, science and technology.
This year’s list also included Citigroup chief executive officer Jane Fraser, Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, US singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, and US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci.
Separately, Tsai on Thursday received the International Pioneer Award from the American Legislative Exchange Council for her “extraordinary international leadership and her strong commitment to free markets.”
The award was presented during the States and Nation Policy Summit, held virtually this year by the council due to the pandemic.
In a speech delivered via video, Tsai said that she would continue to preserve and defend Taiwan’s democracy, freedoms and way of life, while never stopping to seek a peaceful and stable cross-Taiwan Strait relationship.
The council, which is the largest organization of US state legislature members, says that the International Pioneer Award is presented to leaders on the international stage whose careers exemplify a commitment to free markets and limited government principles, and to those who have exhibited a steadfast dedication to serving the causes of freedom in their own countries and abroad.
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