Lee Ying-yuan

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Lee Ying-yuan
Minister of Environmental Protection Administration of the Republic of China
Assumed office
20 May 2016
Deputy Chang Tzi-chin, Thomas Chan[1]
Preceded by Wei Kuo-yen
Member of the Legislative Yuan
In office
1 February 2012 – 20 May 2016
Succeeded by Shih Yi-fang
Constituency Republic of China
In office
1 February 1996 – August 2000
Constituency Yunlin County
Deputy Yunlin County Magistrate
(as acting from 5 November 2008 to 17 November 2008)
In office
Magistrate Su Chih-fen
Secretary-General of the Democratic Progressive Party
In office
15 January 2008 – 15 May 2008
Chairperson Chen Shui-bian
Preceded by Chuo Rung-tai
Succeeded by Wang Tuoh
Minister of the Council of Labor Affairs
In office
19 September 2005 – 20 May 2007
Preceded by Chen Chu
Succeeded by Lu Tien-ling
Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan
In office
1 February 2005 – 19 September 2005
Preceded by Authur Iap
Succeeded by Liu Yuh-san
In office
1 February 2002 – 1 July 2002
Deputy ROC Representative to the United States
In office
September 2000 – 21 January 2002
Serving with Shen Lyu-shun
Representative Stephen S.F. Chen
Chen Chien-jen
Succeeded by Michael Tsai
Personal details
Born (1953-03-16) 16 March 1953 (age 64)
Yunlin County, Taiwan
Political party Democratic Progressive Party
Alma mater National Taiwan University
Harvard University
University of North Carolina
Occupation Politician
Profession Health economist

Lee Ying-yuan (Chinese: 李應元; pinyin: Lǐ Yìngyuán; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lí Èng-goân) is a Taiwanese politician. He was elected to the Legislative Yuan in 1995 and stepped down in 2000. In 2005, Lee was appointed the Minister of Council of Labor Affairs, which he led until 2007. Lee has also served as Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan and the Democratic Progressive Party, and was reelected to the Legislative Yuan in 2012. He was appointed the Minister of Environmental Protection Administration in 2016.

Early life, education and activism[edit]

Lee Ying-yuan was born into a family of farmers in 1953. He studied public health at National Taiwan University and earned a master's degree in health policy from Harvard University before receiving his PhD in health economics in 1988 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[2] Upon Lee's graduation, he was slated to teach at NTU, but was placed on a blacklist and barred from returning to Taiwan by the Kuomintang-led government, stemming from his pro-democracy activities in the Formosa Incident during Taiwan's martial law period. During Lee's time as a student in the United States, he was also an active member of the World United Formosans for Independence, which attracted more of the KMT's attention.[3]

Return to Taiwan[edit]

After returning to Taiwan through illegal channels and avoiding intelligence agents for fourteen months, Lee was arrested in September 1991, and charged with violation of Article 100 of the Criminal Code. He was released in May 1992, after would-be colleagues at National Taiwan University intervened on his behalf. Revisions to Article 100 were also passed that month, and meant that evidence of possible threats had to be submitted to the Commission of Violence prior to indictment or arrest.[4][5]

Political career[edit]

Lee was elected to the Legislative Yuan in 1996. He then became the youngest convener of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus in the legislature. Following DPP’s successful presidential election in 2000, Lee was appointed by President Chen Shui-bian to be the Deputy Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the U.S. and then Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan.[3] He was then named the DPP candidate for Taipei City's 2002 mayoral election, losing to incumbent mayor Ma Ying-jeou in a landslide.[6]

2002 Taipei City Mayoral Election Result
Party # Candidate Votes Percentage
Green Taiwan in White Cross.svg Democratic Progressive Party 1 Lee Ying-yuan 488,811 35.89%
Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg Kuomintang 2 Ma Ying-jeou 873,102 64.11% Vote1.png
Total 1,374,862 100.00%
Voter turnout 70.61%

He was named the head of the Council of Labor Affairs in 2005, and stayed on in the Su Tseng-chang cabinet.[7] Under his leadership, the CLA sought to decrease the number of job-related deaths and injuries causing disabilities.[8][9] In 2008, Lee was named the Secretary-General of the Democratic Progressive Party and deputy Yunlin County magistrate under Su Chih-fen. He resigned the deputy magistracy to run in a legislative-by election caused by the annulment of Chang Sho-wen's election. However, Lee lost a primary to Liu Chien-kuo.[10] He was reelected to the Legislative Yuan in 2012. During the summer of 2015, Lee accompanied DPP chairperson and 2016 presidential nominee Tsai Ing-wen on her visit to the United States, along with DPP General Secretary Joseph Wu.[11] Lee was named Tsai's Environmental Protection Administration minister after she won the election. He stated that his goal is to transform the EPA into a full-fledged ministry within 18 months of taking office.[12]

Private life[edit]

Lee is married to Laura Huang (黃月桂).[13]


  1. ^ http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2016/04/13/2003643829
  2. ^ Chang, Yun-ping (16 May 2003). "Lee Ying-yuan faults response at Hoping Hospital". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Chu, Monique (4 September 2000). "Lee Ying-yuan: the dissident who became a diplomat". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Snyder, Charles (19 February 2001). "DPP looks to a new era of relations with the US". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Lee, Shyu-tu; Williams, Jack F. (2014). Taiwan's Struggle: Voices of the Taiwanese. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 53–54. ISBN 9781442221437. 
  6. ^ "Lee is down but not out after defeat". The China Post. December 8, 2002. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  7. ^ "The New Cabinet". Taiwan Today. 1 March 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Shan, Shelley (20 February 2006). "Labor council seeks to lower job fatality and disability rates by 20 percent each". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  9. ^ Tsai, June (3 March 2006). "Council of Labor Affairs sets target of 20% fewer job-related accidents". Taiwan Info. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "DPP to nominate Liu in legislative by-election". Taiwan Today. 13 July 2009. Archived from the original on 13 July 2009. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  11. ^ Strong, Matthew (28 May 2015). "Tsai adds Facebook and Cisco to US trip". Taiwan News. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  12. ^ Chen, Wei-han (7 June 2016). "EPA’s Lee to turn agency into full-fledged ministry". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Tsai, Ting-i (11 September 2002). "Annie Lee supports Lee Ying-yuan for Taipei mayoral post". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 June 2016.