Taiwan`s President Tsai Ing-wen: Leading the Fight against COVID-19

Taiwan`s President Tsai Ing-wen: Leading the Fight against COVID-19
Case Code: LDEN164
Case Length: 16 Pages
Period: -
Pub Date: 2020
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization : -
Industry :Government & Non-Profit Organizations
Countries : Taiwan
Themes: Women in leadership/ Disaster Management/ Resilient Leadership
Taiwan`s President Tsai Ing-wen: Leading the Fight against COVID-19
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case discusses how Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (Tsai) and her government successfully handled the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Under Tsai’s leadership, Taiwan managed to come up with what analysts called “among the world’s best” responses, keeping the epidemic under control and limiting infections to just 479 as of August 5, 2020. Taiwan with its speedy, efficient, and expert-led response, became a role model in combating the pandemic globally, despite its exclusion from the World Health Organization (WHO). The case highlights the various measures adopted by the Tsai led government to contain the pandemic including case identification, containment, rapid isolation, aggressive testing, massive production of masks to protect public health, and transparent communication. When Tsai learnt about a mysterious new virus infecting the citizens of Wuhan in December 2019, she immediately ordered that all planes arriving from Wuhan be screened. She then set up an epidemic command center, ramped up production of personal protective equipment such as face masks, and restricted all flights from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. She introduced 124 proactive measures to block the spread without having to resort to the kind of lockdowns that had become common in other countries. With swift and decisive action, Tsai’s government managed to check the spread of the virus early on. Tsai’s swift response to the pandemic bolstered the global image of Taiwan and a number of countries led by the US began expressing their support for the country to be either included as a member of the WHO, or to be given observer status. However, Tsai faced some challenges along the way. The biggest hurdle for Taiwan in its epidemic response was its exclusion from the WHO due to diplomatic isolation by China, which shut it off from receiving crucial and timely information related to the crisis. Moreover, the country’s cross-strait relations with China, which claimed Taiwan as its own, were at an all-time low. However, going forward, it remained to be seen whether Tsai would be able to successfully continue with Taiwan’s robust pandemic prevention policies until the end of the contagion.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand progressive leadership.
  • Understand the role of female leaders during a pandemic.
  • Understand the importance of resilient leadership during a crisis.
  • Understand the strategies adopted by the Taiwanese Government in tackling the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Explore further actions the Taiwanese government can take to recover from the crisis.



Women in Leadership, Disaster Management, Pandemic preparedness and response, COVID-19, Female Leadership, Agile governance, Digital Democracy, Resilient Leadership, Crisis Management, Progressive Leadership, Public Policy, Mask Rationing System, Digital Fence, Tsai Ing-wen, Crisis Response

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