|12th President of Laeral|
|Assumed office |
January 6, 2019
|Prime Minister||Tanvi Misra January 6, 2019-June 4, 2019 |
Nicolas Martin June 4, 2019-
|Preceded by||Nicholas Brennan|
|1st Executive Officer of the New Democratic Alliance|
|Assumed office |
November 18th, 2017
|1st Laeralian Ambassador to the World Assembly|
December 28th, 2016 – November 3rd, 2017
|Prime Minister||Tanvi Misra|
|Succeeded by||Juliette Mao|
|Governor of Neidong|
January 1st, 2013 – December 28th, 2016
|Preceded by||Gerard Luo|
|Succeeded by||Mina Delannoy|
|Member of the Neidong Legislature|
August 1, 2006 – October 20, 2012
|Parliamentary group||Progressive Party (Laeral)|
|Member of the National Security Council|
February 18, 2000 – July 12, 2004
|Born||September 16, 1964|
|Political party||New Democratic Alliance|
|Progressive Party of Laeral|
|Alma mater||Sun Jia-wei National Open University [B.A.], Laeralsford College of Political Studies [M.A., Ph.D.]|
Liu Mei-han is a Laeralian politician and member of the New Democratic Alliance (Laeral) currently serving as the 12th and current President of Laeral since 2019. Liu is the first woman and the first unmarried person to hold that position. Liu was formerly the Governor of Neidong and the Laeralian Ambassador to the World Assembly. She succeeded Nicholas Brennan as President following her victory over Damien Vendorme in the 2018 Laeralian general election.
Early Career[edit | edit source]
Liu was born in 1964 to a working-class family in Nanhai, where she lived with her four younger siblings in public housing in a slum district of Hanshui. She excelled in school, working her way through the prestigious Sun Jia-wei National Open University, and later the Laeralsford College of Political Studies. Upon graduating, Liu became an academic, teaching at various universities, including Jean-Philippe Salaun National Open University and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Diplomatic Academy, for around a decade. After being rejected for a permanent position by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Liu was appointed in 2000 as a specialist consultant for the National Security Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focusing on foreign relations within the Hespian continent, although she kept her academic position at the time. Liu was also appointed as Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy Council, a think-tank, before resigning from all of her governmental and non-governmental positions in 2004 for personal reasons, although she only left her academic positions in 2006.
Political Career[edit | edit source]
In 2006, Liu ran for the Neidong provincial legislature as a Progressive, where she served, rising to Deputy Speaker of the Legislature, until choosing to run for Governor of the province in 2012. Liu unexpectedly won the Progressive primary and won a narrow victory in the general election, eking out a narrow victory of four percentage points over the People's Party incumbent. Following her victory, Liu was elected Vice-Chair of the Progressive Governors’ Congress. Her name was suggested for the post of Foreign Minister under the First Misra Government, but she was rejected in favor of Marie-Claire Beringer. However, Liu resigned as Neidong Governor in 2016, after she was named by President Brennan as the first Laeralian Ambassador to the World Assembly, which she held until resigning in 2017 to form the New Democratic Alliance.
Presidential Campaign[edit | edit source]
Liu announced that she would seeking the New Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2017. With no other New Democratic candidates opposing her, she won the nomination. Liu's campaign was characterized by a focus on social media campaigning and a strong ground game, and she was in third place (behind Prime Minister Tanvi Misra and Delegate Damien Vendorme) in most polls until the Serriel Affair, which damaged Misra's popularity. Liu won 20% of the vote, narrowly outpacing Misra to advance to the run-off against Damien Vendorme. On December 23rd, 2018, Liu won the presidency with 57% of the nationwide vote. Liu was sworn in as president on January 6, 2019.
Presidency[edit | edit source]
Faced with an unusually fragmented National Assembly, months were spent in coalition talks, leading to rumors that Liu would call fresh elections. On June 4, 2019, Liu announced the formation of a coalition government consisting of her own New Democrats in coalition with the Progressives, Conservatives, and Green Party, with Nicolas Martin of her own political party as Prime Minister. The coalition government's first act was to pass an aid package to rebuild Lauchenoiria following the Second Lauchenoirian Civil War.
Economic Policy[edit | edit source]
Liu supports pro-market reforms of the Laeralian economy to increase international competitiveness while supporting depressed industrial and rural regions and supporting worker's rights. Her relationship with Laeral's powerful labor unions have been described as "tense" by the newspaper La Sentinelle; although some commentators have described her economic policy as "neoliberal", Liu denies that is the case. Liu supports state interventionism and pledged during her campaign not to pursue privatization of state-run companies. Her pick for Finance Minister, the economist Jin Liqing, was considered an unorthodox choice due to his limited experience in government and support for a universal basic income, and Jin's finance ministry began UBI pilot programs in August 2020.
Liu supports an increased tax on tobacco products.
Social Issues[edit | edit source]
As the first Rén president since Maurice Fesnau (2005-2007), Liu has embraced the rhetoric of racial reconciliation. She supports existing reservations in the civil service and universities.
Liu has spoken favorably of immigration, and campaigned for immigration reform, yet this did not appear in her party's 2018 coalition agreement. Liu expressed her support for a "compassionate, progressive" refugee policy, and as president set the refugee admissions cap for Laeral to 22,000 in 2020 and 2021, the highest number since 2005. In a bid to tackle corruption, Liu established the National Anti-Corruption Commission in 2019, with wide-ranging authority to investigate civil servants and elected officials suspected of fraud.
Foreign Affairs[edit | edit source]
As president, Liu has taken an active, hands-on role in Laeralian foreign policy. A staunch institutionalist, Liu has championed multilateral action and cooperation on issues such as international development and confronting climate change. Liu supported the coalition intervention in Vulkaria following the 1/2/20 Terror Attacks, but has generally announced her support for a diplomacy-focused foreign policy. Her long ties to the foreign-policy establishment, including as a member of the National Security Council and Laeralian Ambassador to the World Assembly, and her intellectual credentials in foreign policy, including publishing a 1997 article in the magazine The Diplomat outlining a strategy to prevent nuclear proliferation, brought reassurance to many in Laeralsford that she would place foreign policy as a high priority. Liu has named human rights as a major focus of her administration's foreign policy, and has prioritized reinforcing ties with other democratic states during her trips abroad. Liu is a supporter of free trade.
During the Second Xiomeran Civil War, Liu supported the Huenyan faction of Empress Yauhmi, including offering Prince Texoccoatl and his government-in-exile sanctuary in Laeral. In December 2020, Liu convened representatives of all belligerent parties at the Jinyu Peace Conference to broker peace accords between the warring factions.
Liu has advocated for a greater focus on international development, passing a foreign aid package to assist Lauchenoiria in rebuilding its economy following the Second Lauchenoirian Civil War and playing a leading role in the creation of the Global Development Investment Bank, a multilateral development fund including twelve members.
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
Liu is unmarried, although she has dated in past. Persistent, largely malicious internet rumors that she is a lesbian remain, although her spokesman denied this during the 2018 presidential campaign. She lives at Republic House, the residence of the presidents of Laeral, with her younger brother Liu Enlai, his wife Eileen Liu, their teenage daughter Jianhui, and son Yuming. She is the owner of two adopted cats, the grey tabby Junjie and the white-furred Mingzhu.