Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen leaves a luncheon during a stop-over after her visit to Latin America in Burlingame, California, U.S., January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam - RTSVJZPStephen Lam—Reuters
Tsai captured headlines in December with a phone call to then-President-elect Trump, the first between U.S. and Taiwanese leaders since 1979. It was a bold move for Taiwan’s first female President, who’s steering a cautious path between the U.S. and China. Tsai is sympathetic to independence; when Beijing tried to punish Taiwan after her January 2016 election by restricting its citizens’ visits, she wooed Southeast Asian travelers to spark a tourism boom. She is also pushing economic reforms, including shortening the workweek to five days from six.