As head of state, the President, starting from the ninth term, shall be directly elected by the entire populace of the free area of the Republic of China, and may hold office for no more than two consecutive four-year terms. The President represents the country in its foreign relations and at state functions. All acts are conducted in his name, including command of the armed forces; promulgation of laws and decrees; declaration of martial law with the approval of, or subject to confirmation by, the Legislative Yuan; appointment and removal of civil servants and military officers; conferring of honors and decorations; granting of amnesties and pardons, remission of sentences, and restitution of civil rights; as well as conclusion of treaties and declaration of war and cease-fire. According to the newly amended Additional Articles of the Constitution, the President, by the resolution of the Executive Yuan, may issue emergency orders and take all necessary measures to avert imminent danger affecting the security of the State or of the people or to cope with any serious financial or economic crisis. The President may, following passage by the Legislative Yuan of a no-confidence vote against the president of the Executive Yuan, declare the dissolution of the Legislative Yuan after consulting with its president. However, the President shall not dissolve the Legislative Yuan while martial law or an emergency order is in effect.

To determine major policies in national security, such as national defense, foreign affairs, cross-strait relations, and other severe national calamities, the President may, in accordance with the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China, establish a National Security Council as an advisory organization.