Wu Den-yih

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Wu Den-yih
Official portrait, 2012
9th Chairman of the Kuomintang
In office
20 August 2017 – 15 January 2020
Preceded byLin Junq-tzer (acting)
Succeeded byLin Rong-te (acting)
3 December 2014 – 19 January 2015
Preceded byMa Ying-jeou
Succeeded byEric Chu
10th Vice President of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 2012 – 20 May 2016
PresidentMa Ying-jeou
Preceded bySiew Wan-chang
Succeeded byChen Chien-jen
23rd Premier of the Republic of China
In office
10 September 2009 – 6 February 2012
PresidentMa Ying-jeou
Vice PremierEric Chu
Sean Chen
Preceded byLiu Chao-shiuan
Succeeded bySean Chen
16th Secretary-General of the Kuomintang
In office
27 February 2007 – 17 October 2009
ChairmanWu Po-hsiung
DeputyLiao Feng-teh
Preceded byChan Chun-po
Succeeded byChan Chun-po
Member of the Legislative Yuan
In office
1 February 2002 – 10 September 2009
Preceded bymulti-member district
Succeeded byMa Wen-chun
ConstituencyNantou County
1st Mayor of Kaohsiung
In office
15 December 1994 – 20 December 1998
DeputyLin Join-sane
Preceded byHimself (as appointed mayor)
Succeeded byFrank Hsieh
In office
18 June 1990 – 15 December 1994
Appointed byExecutive Yuan
Preceded bySu Nan-cheng
Succeeded byHimself (as elected mayor)
6th Magistrate of Nantou
In office
20 December 1981 – 20 December 1989
Preceded byMeng Fan-chao
Succeeded byLin Yuan-lang
Member of the Taipei City Council
In office
25 December 1973 – 20 December 1981
Personal details
Born (1948-01-30) 30 January 1948 (age 76)
Caotun, Taichung County, Taiwan Province, Republic of China
Political partyKuomintang
SpouseTsai Ling-yi
Alma materNational Taiwan University
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Wu Den-yih (born 30 January 1948) is a Taiwanese politician. He graduated from National Taiwan University and worked as a journalist before beginning a career in politics with a 1973 appointment to the Taipei City Council. Wu was then elected Magistrate of Nantou County, serving from 1981 to 1989. Following two terms as magistrate, he was named Mayor of Kaohsiung in 1990. Wu remained mayor until 1998, having won the office in a 1994 direct election. He then served two full terms in the Legislative Yuan from 2002 to 2008. Shortly after winning a third term in the legislature, Wu was named Premier of the Republic of China in 2009. He served until 2012, when he and Ma Ying-jeou formed the Kuomintang (KMT) presidential ticket. Wu served one four-year term as Vice President of the Republic of China, stepping down in 2016. In May 2017, he was elected party chairman. Wu stepped down from the position in January 2020. Previously, Wu had served the KMT as secretary-general from 2007 to 2009, first vice chairman in 2014, and as acting chairman in 2014 and 2015.

Early life[edit]

Wu was born in Caotun, Taichung, Taiwan in 1948. He attended National Taiwan University, where he was president and editor-in-chief of the University News (大學新聞) student periodical in from 1968 to 1969. One of the essays Wu wrote for the publication prompted Chiang Ching-kuo to support Wu's entry into politics. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1970. Upon graduation, he was conscripted into the military.

Early career[edit]

Upon completing his compulsory military service in the armed forces, Wu worked as a journalist for the China Times before entering starting his political career. While with the China Times, he was known for his accurate reporting and insightful commentary.[citation needed]

Early political career[edit]

In 1973 at the age of 25, he was appointed to a position in the Taipei City Council,[1] serving as the youngest member of the council. While in the office, he was resolute in upholding the view of working with high standard of integrity. For some corrupt officials, he asserted that bending the law is even worse than the corruption itself. He further added that although corruption violates the law, the law nevertheless survives. But if one publicly manipulates the law with impunity, the law dies. Wu worked for the council for eight years.[2][3] During his time in the council, he also still worked as an editorial writer at China Times providing his opinions and thoughts on current political issues.

After serving the Taipei City Council, Wu made a successful campaign for the magistracy of Nantou County. He was elected to two terms, serving from 1981 to 1989.[3]

He was named Mayor of Kaohsiung in 1990. Wu was directly elected to a second term in office, but lost reelection to Frank Hsieh in 1998. In 2001, Wu was elected to the Legislative Yuan for the first time, winning reelection twice thereafter, in 2004 and 2008.

KMT Secretary-General[edit]

From 2007 to 2009, Wu was the secretary-general of the Kuomintang.

2009 mainland China visit[edit]

In May 2009, Wu left for mainland China for an 8-day visit. He was accompanied by three senior KMT members, Wu Po-hsiung, Lin Fong-cheng and John Chiang. Wang Yi, Director of Taiwan Affairs Office welcomed the delegations upon arrival in Beijing.

The delegations visited several cities. In Beijing, they visited the Guangdong-Guangxi House, where Sun Yat-sen was elected as Chairperson of Kuomintang in 1912. In Hangzhou, they visited the Manao Temple, where a museum of Lian Heng is located. In Nanjing, they visited Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. And in Chongqing, they attended the Taiwan Week celebration organized by Taiwanese businessmen doing business in mainland China.[4]

ROC Premiership[edit]

Premiership appointment[edit]

Wu was designated to succeed Liu Chao-shiuan as Premier of the Republic of China on 8 September 2009 by President Ma Ying-jeou. Liu and his Cabinet resigned en masse on 10 September to take responsibility for damage caused by Typhoon Morakot, with Wu succeeding the post the same day.[5] Wu was appointed to the position due to his rich party and administrative experience.[3] Wu spent his first night as Premier in Kaohsiung where he visited the Typhoon Morakot survivors at their temporary shelters in the Republic of China Military Academy in Fengshan District.[3]

2012 ROC Presidential Election[edit]

On 19 June 2011, Ma Ying-jeou announced that he and Wu would form the Kuomintang ticket for the 2012 presidential election, as incumbent Vice President Vincent Siew chose not to stand for reelection.[6] Ma and Wu won the election with 51.6% of the vote, and took their respective offices on 20 May 2012.[7]

2012 Boao Forum for Asia[edit]

On 1–2 April 2012,[8] ROC Vice President-elect Wu, in his capacity as the top advisor of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation, attended the 2012 Boao Forum for Asia in Haikou, Hainan. Wu represented Taiwan as "China's Taiwan" during the forum.[9] In the forum, Wu met with PRC Vice Premier Li Keqiang in which both of them agreed to address various of cross-strait issues.[10][11] While touring to a fruit farm during the forum period, Wu said that he will take care of the Chinese companies doing business in Taiwan. He added that he will make every effort in assisting any Chinese people who wish to invest in Taiwan.[12]

ROC Vice Presidency[edit]

Vice President Wu at the 85th anniversary of Radio Taiwan International.

Taiwanese fisherman shooting incident[edit]

After the shooting incident of Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine government vessel on 9 May 2013 at the disputed water in South China Sea, speaking at a seminar in Longtan, Wu hoped that Taiwan and the Philippines can settle their maritime territorial dispute, and wished that all parties involved can work together to achieve the East China Sea peace initiative proposed by President Ma Ying-jeou in August 2012 to jointly explore and develop the resources in the sea area because this continuing dispute hinder the development of the sea resources.[13]

KMT Chairmanship[edit]

On 9 January 2017, Wu announced his candidacy for the 2017 KMT chairmanship election at the National Taiwan University Hospital International Convention Center in an event attended by former and current KMT legislators. He was the third person, after Hau Lung-pin and incumbent chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu, to announce his candidacy for the position.[14] Wu won the election on 20 May, and received a congratulatory letter from Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. Wu responded by emphasizing the 1992 Consensus and expressed his intention to create peace across the Taiwan Strait.[15]

Following Han Kuo-yu's loss in the 2020 Taiwanese presidential election, Wu resigned from the Kuomintang chairmanship on 15 January 2020.[16][17]

Cross-strait relations[edit]

Speaking in October 2016, Wu said that both sides of the Taiwan Strait should engage in a healthy competition, build its society better and give more contribution for the building up of a strong and prosperous Chinese nation. He said that Mainland China's ambition for unifying Taiwan under one country, two systems and Taiwan's ambition for independence or unification would destabilize cross-strait relations, stressing that peace is the best choice for both sides of the strait at the moment.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Wu is married to Tsai Ling-yi. They have three sons and one daughter.[19]


  1. ^ Hsu, Stacy (10 January 2017). "Wu pledges just governance if elected". Taipei Times. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Wu Den-yih | Who's Who Profile". Africa Confidential. 1948-01-30. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  3. ^ a b c d "Taiwan Review - Premier Wu Den-yih Takes Charge of Revamped Cabinet". Archived from the original on 2015-01-23. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  4. ^ "KMT chairman Wu Po-hsiung visiting Beijing". The China Post. 2009-05-26. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  5. ^ "Taiwan Premier, Cabinet Resign Over Typhoon Response (Update2)". Bloomberg. 7 September 2009.
  6. ^ Jiang, Alex (19 June 2011). "Ma picks Wu as vice presidential candidate". Central News Agency. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  7. ^ Jacobs, Andrew (14 January 2012). "Incumbent Ma Re-Elected as Taiwan's President". New York Times.
  8. ^ F_404 (2012-03-29). "HK official to attend Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference - People's Daily Online". English.peopledaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2014-05-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Opposition slams Wu Den-yih over 'China's Taiwan'". Taipei Times. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  10. ^ "Wu Den-yih meets with Li Keqiang at Boao Forum". Taipei Times. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  11. ^ F_404 (2012-04-01). "Vice premier meets Taiwan delegation in Hainan - People's Daily Online". English.peopledaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2014-05-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "Taiwan Vice President Wu in Haikou, promises supports for mainland firms - What's On Sanya". Whatsonsanya.com. 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  13. ^ "VP urges peaceful solution to Philippine dispute". The China Post. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  14. ^ Lo, James (10 January 2017). "Wu Den-yih announces bid for KMT leadership". The China Post. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  15. ^ Shih, Hsiao-kuang (22 May 2017). "Wu stresses '1992 consensus' in Xi reply". Taipei Times. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  16. ^ Shih, Hsiao-kung (16 January 2020). "2020 Elections: Wu quits over KMT election defeats". Taipei Times. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  17. ^ Yu, Hsiang; Yeh, Chen; Chiang, Yi-ching (15 January 2020). "KMT chairman resigns amid heated calls for party reform". Central News Agency. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Ex-VP calls on China 'not to widen distance' with Taiwanese - Cross-Strait Affairs - FOCUS TAIWAN - CNA ENGLISH NEWS". 3 October 2016.
  19. ^ "吳敦義 1個後盾 與4個驕傲 - 親子YOU&ME - (已關閉)親子成長 - udn文教職考" (in Chinese). Mag.udn.com. Retrieved 2014-05-28.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Magistrate of Nantou
Succeeded by
Preceded by Mayor of Kaohsiung
Succeeded by
Preceded by Premier of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice President of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Secretary-General of the Kuomintang
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Preceded by Chairman of the Kuomintang

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Preceded by Chairman of the Kuomintang
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