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Chen Chi-mai

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Chen Chi-mai

Chen Chi-Mai from VOA (1).jpg
Member of the Legislative Yuan
Assumed office
February 1, 2012
ConstituencyNationwide Constituency
In office
February 1, 1996 – May 19, 2004
ConstituencyKaohsiung City's 2nd district (1st term)
Kaohsiung City's 1st district (2nd-3rd terms)
Deputy Secretary-General of the Presidential Office
In office
February 9, 2007 – May 20, 2008
Serving with Lin Chia-lung
Preceded byLiu Shih-fang
Succeeded byYeh Ching-chuan
25th Mayor of Kaohsiung (acting)
In office
February 1, 2005 – September 26, 2005
Preceded byFrank Hsieh
Succeeded byYeh Chu-lan (acting)
Chen Chu
Spokesperson of the Executive Yuan
In office
May 20, 2004 – February 1, 2005
Preceded byLin Chia-lung
Succeeded byCho Jung-tai
Personal details
Born (1964-12-23) December 23, 1964 (age 53)
Keelung, Taiwan
NationalityRepublic of China
Political partyDemocratic Progressive Party
ParentsChen Che-nan (father)
Alma materChung Shan Medical University
National Taiwan University
Chen Chi-mai

Chen Chi-mai (Chinese: 陳其邁; pinyin: Chén Qímài; Wade–Giles: Chen2 Ch'i2-mai4; born December 23, 1964) is a Taiwanese politician and member of the Legislative Yuan. He is also currently the spokesperson of the Democratic Progressive Party and the chief executive officer of the its Policy Research and Coordinating Committee. A physician from Keelung, Chen started his political career by becoming member of the Legislative Yuan in 1996 and served as legislator for almost eight years before becoming the spokesperson of the Executive Yuan.

In 2005, Chen succeeded to the mayoralty of Kaohsiung after then-mayor Frank Hsieh's appointment as premier. Chen became the Deputy Secretary-General of the Presidential Office in 2007 and served until the inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou.

Early life[edit]

Chen Chi-mai was born in Keelung City, Taiwan, on December 23, 1964.[1] He is the son of Chen Che-nan, who is also a politician and was also a Deputy Secretary-General of the Presidential Office before Chen took office in 2007.[2]

Chen studied medicine at the Chung Shan Medical University in Taichung, where he earned his MB degree in 1991. He got his MS degree in preventive medicine at the National Taiwan University in 1994. He practiced medicine at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (長庚紀念醫院) for about three years and became a lecturer at the Taipei Medical University in 1996.[3][4]

Chen made his early entry into public affairs when he, as a student, served as an assistant to his father, a legislator at the time.[5]

Rise in politics[edit]

A member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Chen was elected legislator three times serving from 1996 to 2004. During his term, he became the secretary-general of the Justice Alliance faction of the DPP in 1998 and the legislative caucus leader in 1999.[3] He also became members of various committees within the Legislative Yuan, including the Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, National Defense, and Transportation Committees.[5]

Before the DPP became the ruling party, Chen suggested that then-incumbent magistrate of Taoyuan County Annette Lu would be a better choice for Chen Shui-bian's presidential running mate than any other party member.[6] Lu was eventually selected as his running mate.[7]

After Shui-bian's successful presidential campaign, Chen Chi-mai, as a leader of the Justice Alliance faction, supported the proposal of another member to revise the pro-independence guideline.[8] Although many party members had similar views, the proposal was sent back to the party's policy research department for review.[9]

In 2004, Chen was appointed a Minister without Portfolio and spokesperson of the Executive Yuan.[5] Soon after, another proposal to modify pro-independence guidelines was created. Several DPP legislators believed that the change of the national title from "Republic of China" to "Taiwan," which is one of the ultimate goals of Taiwan's desinicization campaign and localization movement, was not necessary. Chen also supported the proposal.[10] The proposal was documented in an essay called New Culture Discourse, drafted by DPP legislator Lee Wen-chung of the New Tide faction. After the essay was leaked to the media, many politicians, including Chen, denied being involved in drafting the document. The document was proved too controversial and was attacked within the party as a result, although some members believed that it was only based on the 1999 Resolution on Taiwan's Future.[11]

In January 2005, following the death of former CCP General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, Chen represented the Taiwanese cabinet in delivering a message to the Chinese government. In his address, Chen urged China's leaders to pursue democratization. Chen stated that Beijing should "face the truth about Tiananmen Square... We urge the Chinese government to learn from Mr. Zhao's tolerance and to push for democratic reforms."[12]

Later in January 2005, Chen Chi-mai was nominated to serve as acting mayor of Kaohsiung by premier-designate Frank Hsieh.[13]


After becoming the mayor of Kaohsiung, Chen sought to continue construction of the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit (KMRT), a major construction started during Frank Hsieh's mayoral term.[14] The Red Line of the system is opened, and the Orange Line was scheduled to be opened in August 2008.[15]

Chen also worked to turn Kaohsiung into the a film location hub by encouraging filmmakers to shoot their films in the port city. He offered filmmakers, such as Tsai Ming-liang, various incentives for their award-winning films. He presented a NT$10 million (approx. US$323 thousand) prize to Tsai for his film The Wayward Cloud.[16] Tsai in returned said he will soon shoot a new film in Kaohsiung and praised the city's efforts to develop Kaohsiung into an international city.[16]

On July 25, 2005, Kaohsiung officially became the host city of World Games 2009, which will be the largest international sports event hosted in Taiwan, after Chen received the flag of the World Games.[17] Chen later announced the construction of a world-class stadium built for the event.[18]

In August 2005, Thai workers rioted over the draconian treatment they received as foreign workers. These workers lived in poor conditions and had limited freedom.[19] The Chen administration vowed to take action on August 25.[20] Chen apologized to the public for the social turmoil caused by the incident and offered to resign three times.[21] Then-premier Frank Hsieh authorized Chen's resignation on September 12, and replaced him with former vice premier Yeh Chu-lan.[22]


After a temporary period of research at the London School of Economics in England, Chen was appointed the Deputy Secretary-General of the Presidential Office in February 2007.[23] His appointment drew mixed reactions, with the support from the DPP legislative caucus and opposition from the Kuomintang legislative caucus.[24] Chen served with Lin Chia-lung, former director of the Government Information Office.[25][26]

After the DPP chairmanship election in May 2008, chairwoman-elect Tsai Ing-wen announced the appointment of Chen as the deputy secretary-general of the party. He held the position with Cho Jung-tai until 2009. Chen is now concurrently serving as both the spokesperson of the Democratic Progressive Party and the chief executive officer of the party's Policy Research and Coordinating Committee since May 2011.[27]

In the 2012 legislative elections, Chen was placed on the DPP electoral list, from which 13 members were elected based on the amount of votes the DPP received. Being the 8th member on the list, Chen returned to the Legislative Yuan once again as a legislator in February 2012.[28] He was reelected via proportional representation in 2016. Chen faced fellow lawmakers Chao Tien-lin, Lin Tai-hua, and Kuan Bi-ling in a Kaohsiung mayoral primary held in March 2018, and was named the Democratic Progressive Party candidate for the mayoralty.[29][30]

2018 Kaohsiung City mayoral results[31]
No. Candidate Party Votes Percentage
1 Han Kuo-yu Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg Kuomintang 892,545 53.87% Vote1.svg
2 Chen Chi-mai Green Taiwan in White Cross.svg Democratic Progressive Party 742,239 44.80%
3 Chu Mei-feng (璩美鳳) Independent candidate icon (TW).svg Independent 7,998 0.48%
4 Su Ying-guei (蘇盈貴) Independent candidate icon (TW).svg Independent 14,125 0.85%
Total voters  2,281,338
Valid votes  1,656,907
Invalid votes  
Voter turnout  72.63%


Chen is married and has a son and daughter.[32]

He is a Master Scuba Diver.[32]


  1. ^ 陈其迈简历. (in Chinese). Retrieved 2008-05-12.[dead link]
  2. ^ 【政治】陳哲男之子陳其邁為"總統府副秘書長". (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2013-01-15. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
  3. ^ a b 歷任政務委員簡介簡介. Executive Yuan (in Chinese). Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  4. ^ "The New Cabinet". Taiwan Today. 1 July 2004. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b c 《星期人物》陳其邁入閣 躍上火線. Liberty Times (Press release) (in Chinese). Taiwan (ROC). 2004-05-23. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  6. ^ "Annette Lu an early favorite for DPP's 2000 ticket". The Taipei Times (Press release). 1999-09-14. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  7. ^ "Chen names Annette Lu as running mate". The Taipei Times (Press release). 1999-12-11. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  8. ^ "DPP to mull independence stance". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2000-03-22. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  9. ^ "DPP independence proposal shelved". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2000-03-23. Archived from the original on January 17, 2004. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  10. ^ "Keep ROC tag, young DPP urge". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2004-05-13. Archived from the original on November 30, 2005. Retrieved 2008-05-13.
  11. ^ "`New Culture Discourse' displeases almost everyone". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2004-05-16. Archived from the original on December 7, 2005. Retrieved 2008-05-13.
  12. ^ Kahn, Joseph. "China Gives Zhao's Death Scant Notice". The New York Times. January 18, 2005. Retrieved January 18, 2005.
  13. ^ "Chen Chi-mai takes over in Kaohsiung". The Taipei Times (Press release) (in Chinese). 2000-01-27. Archived from the original on April 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  14. ^ "Taiwan Quick Take". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2005-01-31. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  15. ^ 張揆主持高捷紅線首航通車典禮. Government Information Office (in Chinese). Archived from the original on November 30, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2008.
  16. ^ a b "Kaohsiung mayor pledges incentives for filmmakers". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2005-03-18. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  17. ^ "Kaohsiung mayor gets World Games flag". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2005-07-26. Archived from the original on August 4, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  18. ^ "Kaohsiung to build stadium for World Games". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2005-07-26. Archived from the original on August 26, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  19. ^ "Thai workers riot against `unfair' firm". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2005-08-23. Archived from the original on May 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  20. ^ "Kaohsiung vows action in wake of riot". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2005-08-26. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  21. ^ "Kaohsiung mayor offers to quit". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2005-09-07. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  22. ^ "Replacements brought in for posts vacated after riot". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2005-09-14. Archived from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  23. ^ 陳其邁接總統府副祕書長. Liberty Times (Press release) (in Chinese). Taiwan (ROC). 2007-02-10. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  24. ^ "Chen Chi-mai's appointment draws mixed reaction". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2007-02-11. Archived from the original on April 2, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  25. ^ "Pan-blues grill Lin in budget meeting". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2004-05-25. Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  26. ^ "Chen accepts role of DPP chairman". The Taipei Times (Press release). 2007-10-12. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  27. ^ "佈局縣市長 蔡籌組選戰策略小組". Liberty Times (Press release) (in Chinese). Taiwan (ROC). 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
  28. ^ "2012年第八屆立法委員當選名單". PTS News Network (Press release). January 14, 2012. Archived from the original on September 27, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  29. ^ Lin, Sean (8 March 2018). "Chen Chi-mai wins Kaohsiung primary". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  30. ^ Fan, Cheng-hsiang; Kao, Evelyn (7 March 2018). "Legislator Chen Chi-mai wins DPP primary for Kaohsiung mayoral race". Central News Agency. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  31. ^
  32. ^ a b Tseng, Wei-chen; Chen, Wei-han (22 February 2015). "Lawmakers passionate about their hobbies". Taipei Times. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
Political offices
Preceded by
Lin Chia-lung
Spokesperson of the Executive Yuan
Succeeded by
Chuo Rung-tai
Preceded by
Frank Hsieh
Mayor of Kaohsiung
Succeeded by
Yeh Chu-lan
Preceded by
Liu Shih-fang
Deputy Secretary-General of the Pres. Office
(with Lin Chia-lung)
Succeeded by
Yeh Ching-chuan