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September 22, 2017

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President defiant ahead of one-year anniversary in office

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Tsai Ing-wen deflected criticism and defended her reform efforts on Friday, the eve of her one-year anniversary in office.

Addressing journalists at a rare Presidential Office press conference, Tsai maintained that she was continuing to push "the most challenging" reforms that she had proposed when entering the office last May.

"No other president has done this," Tsai said, adding that she was not working to the tune of public opinion polls but for the country itself.

"As long as it favors reform, we aren't afraid of offending anyone," the president said.

She added that a cunning politician would identify and accomplish easy tasks that would make the most people happy.

A responsible leader would not be calculating on the basis of personal reputation but would want to do "important things for the country," she said.

The president's approval ratings have hit new lows amid criticism against her economic policies.

On Thursday, when addressing business leaders at the European Day Dinner held by the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan, Tsai attributed the low numbers to the public's impatience over the pace of her reforms.

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