Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen says prestigious prize ‘belongs to people of Taiwan’

Published (HKT): 2021.05.04 19:10

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has attributed a prestigious leadership prize to the people of the island, saying it was their effort in defending the self-ruled island’s democracy that led to the award.

Tsai was on Monday announced as the winner of the 2020 John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service. The annual award by the Halifax International Security Forum recognizes people who have demonstrated “uncommon leadership in the pursuit of human justice.”Tsai said on Facebook she was honored to receive the award.

“However, this award does not belong to me alone, but to all the people of Taiwan,” she said.

”A united Taiwan must remain dedicated to protecting our democracy and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, while working as a force for good to make the world a better place. We continue to show that freedom and democracy are the core values that define our country.”

It was the second year in a row that the recipient of the prize was likely to anger Beijing, after the 2019 award was given to the people of Hong Kong in the midst of the city-wide pro-democracy protests.

Halifax is a Washington, D.C.-based international security forum that was founded by the Canadian government, and has continued to receive considerable funding by Ottawa. The Canadian government previously denied reports that it had tried to block the prize to be given to Tsai.

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