Vincent Siew

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Vincent Siew
Siew Wan-chang

2007TaipeiAudioVideoFair VincentSiew.jpg
Vice President of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 2008 – 20 May 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou
Preceded by Annette Lu
Succeeded by Wu Den-yih
Vice Chairman of the Kuomintang
In office
18 June 2000 – 23 March 2005
Chairman Lien Chan
Premier of the Republic of China
In office
1 September 1997 – 20 May 2000
Vice John Chiang
Liu Chao-shiuan
Preceded by Lien Chan
Succeeded by Tang Fei
Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council of the Executive Yuan
In office
15 December 1994 – 3 December 1995
Preceded by Huang Kun-huei
Succeeded by Kao Koong-lian (acting)
Chang King-yuh
Minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development of the Executive Yuan
In office
27 February 1993 – 15 December 1994
Preceded by Shirley Kuo
Succeeded by Hsu Li-teh
Minister of Economic Affairs of the Republic of China
In office
1 June 1990 – 27 February 1993
Preceded by Chen Li-an
Succeeded by Chiang Pin-kun
Personal details
Born 3 January 1939 (1939-01-03) (age 75)
Chiayi City, Taiwan
Nationality  Republic of China
Political party Naval Jack of the Republic of China.svg Kuomintang
Spouse(s) Susan Chu
Alma mater National Chengchi University
Georgetown University
Vincent Siew
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Vincent C. Siew or Siew Wan-chang[1] (Chinese: 蕭萬長; pinyin: Xiāo Wàncháng; born 3 January 1939) is a Taiwanese politician who served as the Vice President of the Republic of China from 2008 to 2012. He was the first Taiwanese-born Premier of the Republic of China and former vice-chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT).

Early life[edit]

Born in Chiayi City in the then Japanese colony of Taiwan, Siew graduated from the Department of Diplomacy at National Chengchi University in 1961, and received a master's degree from the Graduate Institute of International Law and Diplomacy at National Chengchi University in 1965. Although he was accepted to Harvard University, Siew chose to remain in Taiwan heeding his mother's wishes.[2]

Political career[edit]

He worked as consul at the ROC Consulate-General in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 1966 to 1972. He was named to the Central Committee of the Kuomintang in 1988. He was appointed as Minister of Economic Affairs from 1990 to 1993.[3] As Chairman for Economic Planning Development, he represented President Lee Teng-hui, who was forbidden to attend personally, at the 1993 and 1994 annual APEC leaders' summits.

Siew was elected a member of the Legislative Yuan from 1996 to 1997. He was the KMT vice-presidential candidate in 2000 on the ticket of Lien Chan.

Siew is the former chairman of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (Siew submitted his resignation June 24, 2007 after his KMT vice-presidential nomination) and the incumbent Chairman of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation [2]. He resigned as KMT vice chairman and all other posts in the party before the December legislative elections. He was criticised by the Pan-Blue Coalition for not taking a greater role in the Lien-Soong campaign and acting as convener for a private group of economic advisers for President Chen Shui-bian.

ROC Premiership[edit]

Taiwan's nuclear waste storage in Mainland China[edit]

Premier Siew instructed Taiwan Power Company to sign the unpublished agreement with Mainland China regarding Taiwan's nuclear waste storage in Gansu province. A memorandum of it was signed during his term as Premier, although it was later suspended after the transfer of power in 2000 to Premier Tang Fei.[4]

ROC Vice Presidency[edit]

2008 ROC vice presidential election[edit]

Siew and Ma depicted at the 2008 ROC Presidential and Vice Presidential Election Campaign Banner

In May 2007, Siew was mentioned as a possible running mate for KMT presidential nominee Ma Ying-Jeou. [3] This speculation came to fruition after Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng declined Ma's offer to be his running mate. On June 23, 2007, ending weeks of speculation, Ma formally introduced Siew to be his vice-presidential running mate. [4] The 2008 run is Siew's second ticket, having been selected also as the vice-presidential candidate of Lien Chan's KMT ticket in 2000.

On March 22, Ma and Siew won the 2008 Presidential Elections. He and Ma won with 7,659,014 (58.45%) votes against Hsieh and Su's 5,444,949 (41.55%) votes.

Party Candidate Votes Percentage
President Vice president
Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg Kuomintang Ma Ying-Jeou Vincent Siew 7,659,014 58.45%
Democratic Progressive Party Frank Hsieh Su Tseng-Chang 5,444,949 41.55%
Total 13,103,963 100.00%

2008 Boao Forum for Asia[edit]

On April 11, 2008, Vincent Siew departed Taiwan to attend the Boao Forum for Asia, held in Boao, Hainan, which is administered by mainland China. Siew is a founding delegate of the forum from 2001, and he attended once again in his capacity as chairman of the Cross-strait Common Market Fund. Siew had met with Chinese president Hu Jintao in Bo'ao in 2001. However, his special status as the vice president-elect in 2008 made his attendance more significant, but also more controversial in Taiwan. His meeting with Hu Jintao was the highest level exchange between Taiwan and mainland China since the 2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China. The level of reception for Siew in Hainan was scaled accordingly and was equivalent to that reserved for Lien Chan in 2005.[5]

On April 12, 2008, Vincent Siew met with Hu Jintao at the Boao Asia Forum as part of the Cross-Strait Common Market Foundation delegation, which also included other former and future government officials and business leaders from Taiwan. At the meeting, Siew and Hu exchanged their optimism for cross-strait relations under the new Taiwanese leadership of Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Siew.[6] Hu asked Siew to convey his greetings to Ma Ying-jeou, Kuomintang chairman Wu Po-hsiung and chairman emeritus Lien Chan. Siew raised the issue of regular cross-strait flights and the resumption of regular talks between the two governments, propositions to which Hu expressed agreement.

Vice presidency sworn-in[edit]

Siew, along with Ma, was sworn in on May 20, 2008 in Taipei.[7]

First overseas trip as Vice President[edit]

On September 4, 2008, Siew embarked on his first overseas trip as Vice President, visiting Swaziland for a four days. Siew's trip aimed to cement further the diplomatic ties between the two countries, and to celebrate King Mswati III's fortieth birthday. Foreign Minister Francisco Ou accompanied Siew on the trip.[8]

2012 vice presidency election[edit]

Siew declined to run for a second term in Ma's 2012 re-election bid. Ma, instead, nominated Premier Wu Den-yih for the Vice Presidential slot on the ticket.

Personal life[edit]

Siew is married to Susan Chu (朱俶賢 Zhū Shúxián) with three daughters: Ru-ting (蕭如婷), Ru-fen (蕭如芬) and Jhih-you (蕭至佑).

Siew's constant smile has earned him the affectionate nickname "Smiling Siew" (微笑老蕭).[9]

Siew had 2 cancerous lung tumors removed on his left lung on 20 May 2009 at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital.[10] He was then discharged from the hospital on 3 June 2009.[11]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Chen Li-an
Economic Affairs Minister of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Chiang Pin-kun
Preceded by
Lien Chan
Premier of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Tang Fei
Preceded by
Annette Lu
Vice President of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Wu Den-yih