Yu Shyi-kun

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Yu Shyi-kun
DPP LongForever2007 SKYu.jpg
11th Chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party
In office
January 15, 2006 – September 21, 2007
Preceded by Annette Lu (acting)
Succeeded by Chai Trong-rong (acting)
Premier of the Republic of China
In office
1 February 2002 – 1 February 2005
Preceded by Chang Chun-hsiung
Succeeded by Frank Hsieh
Vice Premier of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 2000 – 27 July 2000
Premier Tang Fei
Preceded by Liu Chao-shiuan
Succeeded by Chang Chun-hsiung
Magistrate of Yilan County
In office
20 December 1989 – 20 December 1997
Preceded by Chen Ding-nan
Succeeded by Liu Shou-ch'eng
Personal details
Born (1948-04-25) April 25, 1948 (age 70)
Dongshan, Yilan County, Republic of China
Nationality Republic of China
Political party Democratic Progressive Party (-present)
Chinese Youth Party (1966-1975)[1]
Spouse(s) Yang Pao-yu
Alma mater National Chung Hsing University
Tunghai University
Yu Shyi-kun
Traditional Chinese 游錫堃
Simplified Chinese 游锡堃

Yu Shyi-kun (Chinese: 游錫堃; born April 25, 1948) is a Taiwanese politician. He led the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as chairman from 2006 to 2007. He previously served as Premier of the Republic of China from 2002 to 2005. As one of the founding members of the DPP, he is seen as a loyalist of President Chen Shui-bian.

Personal background[edit]

Born in Taihe Village (太和村), Dongshan Township, Yilan County, Yu was raised in a poor tenant farming family.[2] When he was 13, he studied at the Taiwan provincial Yilan High school (which today is the National Yilan Senior High School), his house was destroyed by flood waters during typhoon Pamela, and his father died of tuberculosis in the same year. He quit junior high school to work full-time on his family farm.

At 19, he studied at the supplementary night school of the Lotung Commercial High School. He moved to Taipei to enroll in the supplementary school of the Hsihu Commercial and Industrial High School. He studied international commerce at the Chihlee Institute of Technology (致理商專) and public administration at the National Chung Hsing University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in politics in Tunghai University in 1985 at the age of 37.

Rise in politics[edit]

In 1981 he was elected a member of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly for Yilan County. Yu, Su Tseng-chang, and Hsieh San-sheng made the so-called "iron triangle" in the Assembly. The three were the only members ever to resign from the Assembly.

From 1983 to 1984 he was the Tangwai Secretary-General. He became Convener of Tangwai National Election Backing Committee in 1986. As a founding member of the Democratic Progressive Party, he was a member of its Central Committee from 1984 to 1986 and its Central Standing Committee from 1986 to 1990 when he was elected a Magistrate of Ilan County, during which he was a member of the Educational Reform Committee of the Executive Yuan from 1994 to 1996. In his second term of magistrate, Environmental Protection (環保立縣), Tourism (觀光立縣), Information Promotion (資訊立縣), and Culture (文化立縣) were his four main goals in administration. The successful planning and execution let him ranked the first one of 27 mayors/magistrates in Taiwan. After the completion of his two terms as magistrate in 1997, he was in 1998 appointed Chairman of the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation by then Mayor Chen Shui-bian. He resigned in 1999 to become Secretary-General of the Democratic Progressive Party.

He was the chief spokesman for the DPP campaign in the 2000 presidential election. With Chen Shui-bian's election to the presidency, he was appointed Vice Premier under Premier Tang Fei.

In July 2000, four construction workers were trapped by the rising floodwaters of Pachang Creek. As local and central government authorities squabbled for three hours over who would send out a rescue helicopter, the men drowned. In the public outrage that ensued, officials up the chain of command, including Premier Tang, tendered their resignations. Vice Premier Yu, who was also chairman of the Committee of Disaster Relief and Prevention, had his resignation accepted.

Six months later, Yu rejoined the administration as Secretary-General to the Office of the President and served until his promotion to the premiership on February 1, 2002.


As premier, Yu defended the administration's position on the peace referendum and promoted a NT$610.8 billion arms procurement package in 2004. He caused some minor controversy when he used the designation "Taiwan, ROC" on an official visit to Honduras. Chen later said he preferred "Taiwan." In September 2004, he directed the government to refer to the People's Republic of China in official documents as simply "China" as opposed to "mainland China" or "Communist China" as was previously done in order to highlight a "separate Taiwanese identity." This move was not endorsed by the Presidential Office and the Mainland Affairs Council clarified that it would only apply to internal documents.

Yu and his cabinet resigned en masse following the pan-Green Coalition failure to gain a majority in the 2004 legislative elections. In the ensuing cabinet shuffle, Yu was returned to the presidential office as secretary-general and succeeded as premier by Frank Hsieh.

On January 15, 2006 he was elected chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party with 54% of the vote.[3]

Yu was a candidate for the DPP nomination for the 2008 presidential election. But he could win only 22,211 of the 140,720 votes, and declared his withdrawal in favor of former premier Frank Hsieh, who won 62,849 votes.[4]

2014 New Taipei City mayoralty election[edit]

On 29 November 2014, Yu lost the New Taipei City mayoralty election to his opponent Eric Chu of the Kuomintang.[5]

2014 New Taipei City Mayoral Election Result
No. Candidate Party Votes Percentage
1 Yu Shyi-kun Green Taiwan in White Cross.svg DPP 934,774 48.78%
2 Li Chin-shun (李進順) Independent candidate icon (TW).svg Independent 22,207 1.16%
3 Eric Chu Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg KMT 959,302 50.06%

Alleged corruption charges[edit]

On September 21, 2007, Yu was indicted on charges of corruption by the Supreme Prosecutor's Office of Taiwan.[6] Yu faces charges of embezzlement and of using false receipts to write-off expenses totaling over US$70,000 from a special governmental account. He resigned his post as chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party later that same day. Vice President Annette Lu and National Security Office secretary-general Mark Chen were also indicted on corruption charges on the same day.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Yu is the founder of Kavalan Journal (噶瑪蘭雜誌), which is named after the Kavalan Taiwanese aborigines. With Yang Pao-yu, whom he married in 1978, he has two sons. His mother, Huang Shou-chu, died in December 2002.[7]


  1. ^ "游錫堃". Taiwan Provincial Consultative Council. Archived from the original on 2012-12-22. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
  2. ^ "Yu Shyi-kun". Government Information Office. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  3. ^ "Taiwan's top party picks new boss". BBC. January 15, 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  4. ^ "Frank Hsieh wins DPP primaries". The China Post. Taiwan (ROC). May 7, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  5. ^ http://www.cec.gov.tw/en/TC/nm200000000000000.html
  6. ^ a b Jane Rickards (September 22, 2007). "Taiwan's Vice President, 2 Others Charged With Corruption". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  7. ^ "Premier consoled following mother's death". Taipei Times. 8 December 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Chen Ding-nan
Magistrate of Yilan County
Succeeded by
Liu Shou-ch'eng
Preceded by
Chang Chun-hsiung
Premier of the ROC
Succeeded by
Frank Hsieh
Party political offices
Preceded by
Annette Lu (acting)
Chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party
Succeeded by
Chai Trong-rong (acting)