Lin Yi-hsiung

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Lin Yi-hsiung
President Direct Election Movement Yi-hsiung Lin.jpg
Lin Yi-hsiung at the rally for direct presidential election in 1992
6th Chairperson of the DPP
In office
July 18, 1998 – April 20, 2000
Preceded by Hsu Hsin-liang
Succeeded by Frank Hsieh
Personal details
Born (1941-08-24) August 24, 1941 (age 75)
Goketsu Village, Ratō District, Taihoku Prefecture, Japanese Taiwan (modern-day Wujie Township, Yilan County, Taiwan)
Political party Democratic Progressive Party(1989-2006)
Independent (2006-present)
Spouse(s) Fang Su-min
Alma mater National Taiwan University
Harvard University
Occupation Politician
Profession Lawyer
Lin Yi-hsiung
Traditional Chinese 林義雄
Simplified Chinese 林义雄

Lin Yi-hsiung (Chinese: 林義雄; born August 24, 1941) is a politician from Taiwan. He was a major leader of the democratization movement in Taiwan. He graduated from the Department of Law of National Taiwan University. He was first exposed to politics in 1976 while serving as attorney for Kuo Yu-hsin (zh) (1908–1985) who sued the ruling KMT party for electoral fraud. Lin was elected a member of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly (now defunct) in Kuo's old electorate in 1977.

Lin Family Massacre[edit]

Lin was arrested in December 1979 for his involvement in the Kaohsiung Incident. On February 27, 1980 Lin Yi-hsiung was in detention and beaten severely by the police. His wife saw him in prison and contacted the Amnesty International Osaka office. The next day Lin's mother and twin 7 year old daughters were stabbed to death. The authorities claimed to know nothing about it, even though his house was under 24-hour police surveillance.[1] There are no suspects to this day.[2]

Lin's eldest daughter, Judy Linton (林奐均), was badly wounded in the incident and was the only survivor. She later traveled to the United States, embraced Christianity, and married Rev. Joel Linton.[3] She is now a renown pianist and gospel singer in Taiwan.

In 1984, Lin left jail on parole, and went to Harvard University with his wife.

Post incident career[edit]

Lin returned to Taiwan in 1989 and became a major advocate against nuclear power in Taiwan soon after. In 1995, he ran and lost in the Democratic Progressive Party's four-way primary for the 1996 Taiwan presidential election.

Three years later, Lin Yi-hsiung became the 8th Chairman of Democratic Progressive Party (1998–2000) and successfully ran a campaign for Chen Shui-bian as the 10th President of the Republic of China. Immediately following Chen's election in May 2000, Lin demonstrated his unwillingness to share the spoils of victory in a surprising retirement from DPP's chairmanship. Citing Robert Frost's poem, he retired with the remark that he preferred to take "the road less travelled by".

Leaving all public and party posts behind him, Lin has been concerning himself with 'reform from outside (the centers of power)' as he campaigns for various issues of environmental justice and parliamentary reform, most importantly in mobilizing public support against nuclear power (2000) and for reducing the number of parliamentary seats by half (2004), both of which are detrimental to Chen's and DPP's hold on power.

In late 2005, he encouraged and endorsed Wong Chin-chu's candidacy in the Democratic Progressive Party's chairmanship by-election of January 15, 2006. Some observers considered Wong as the reformist candidate because the two other candidates each represented the then president and premier's factions respectively. Lacking a factional base, however, Wong was only able to marshall 9.4% of the votes.

Less than two weeks later, on January 24, 2006, Lin Yi-hsiung renounced membership of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan. He said the elections of recent years had become partisan dogfights, resulting in national upheaval. He therefore had no intention of serving in the party's administration, nor of running for public office for the party. According to Lin Yi-hsiung, it was no longer meaningful to be a DPP member, and he has chosen to be a non-partisan citizen of his democratic country.

Despite this, Lin recently endorsed and campaigned for the Democratic Progressive Party's two candidates in the December 2006 mayoral elections. Lin went on the campaign trail for Frank Hsieh (candidate for Mayor of Taipei City) and Chen Chu (candidate for Mayor of Kaohsiung City), both of whom are long time friends of his dating back to the late 1970s. He states that despite all its vices, the Democratic Progressive Party still remains the most progressive party in Taiwan.[4]

On April 22, 2014, Lin Yi-hsiung began a hunger strike at Taipei's Gikong Presbyterian Church to demand that the government halt the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City's Gongliao District, while also calling for an amendment to the referendum law. Lin intended to sustain the fast until construction of the nuclear power plant was halted.[5][6] He ended the strike eight days later when the government pledged to halt construction on the power plant.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roy, Denny (2003). Taiwan: A Political History. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801488054. 
  2. ^ "Funeral for Lin Yi-hsiung's mother and daughters" (PDF). Taiwan Communiqué. International Committee for Human Rights in Taiwan. 18: 2. February 1985. ISSN 1027-3999. 
  3. ^ Linton, Judy (2003). "Judy's Testimony". 
  4. ^ Wang, Flora (7 December 2006). "Lin I-hsiung hits the trail for DPP". Taipei Times. p. 3. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Wang, Chris (23 April 2014). "Lin starts anti-nuclear hunger strike". Taipei Times. p. 1. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Lin Yi-hsiung: Referendum Law must be amended first for meaningful result". Taiwan News. 2014-04-24. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Cabinet happy to see ex-DPP head end hunger strike: spokesman". Focus Taiwan. CNA. 2014-04-30. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Hsu Hsin-liang
Chairperson of the DPP
Succeeded by
Frank Hsieh