Initially, the position of the premier in Taiwan in 1912 was known as the premier of the cabinet and later in 1914, it was changed to the Secretary of State. In 1916, it was changed once again to the Premier of State Council, and in 1928 the KMT party established the position of the Premier, also known as the president of the Executive Yuan Council. The first Premier of Taiwan was Tan Yankai. The premier heads the Executive Yuan Council. The President appoints the chairperson of the Executive Yuan Council, the ministers, and the vice premier with the recommendation from the premier. The premier has the responsibility of presenting the administrative policies to the legislators and countersigning the decrees and laws promulgated by the president. The premier can act as the president if both the president’s and the vice president’s office is vacant.
Premiers Of Taiwan Since 1948
Weng Wenhao (1948)
Weng Wenhao was appointed on May 24th, 1948 as the Premier of the Republic of China and served for 186 days up until November 26, 1948. He served under the President Chiang Kai-Shek in the Kuomintang Party (KMT). He is a well-known geologist, educator, and a politician. Weng was born in Zhejiang province in 1889 during the late Qing Dynasty and attended a French-speaking Catholic school in Shanghai. Later he joined the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium where he obtained a doctorate in geology in 1912.
Sun Fo (1948-1949)
Sun Fo was appointed as the Premier of the Republic of China on November 26, 1948 up to March 12, 1949 as a successor to Weng Wenhao. He was born in Guangdong, China and studied in the US at the Univerity of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University. He returned to China and served as the mayor of Guangzhou between 1920 and 1922. He was the Minister of Communications from 1926 to 1927, Minister of Finance between 1927 and 1928, and the Minister of Railways between 1928 and 1931. After the civil war in 1949, he fled to exile in Hon Kong until 1951 and later moved to Europe and finally to the US.
He Yingqin (March-June of 1949)
He Yingpin was the premier who served for 83 days from March 12, 1949, to June 3, 1949, as a successor to Sun. He served under President Li Zongren and was among the most senior generals of the Kuomintang party and a close friend to President Chiang Kai-shek. During his reign, he proposed first the cease-fire plan and later advocated for peaceful negotiations with the aim to buy time for the Kuomintang governance in China. However, his plan did not work as the Kuomintang was not well armed to fight. He later resigned with his entire cabinet.
Yan Xishan (1949-1950)
Yan Xishan succeeded He Yingpin as the Premier and served from March 12, 1949, to June 3, 1949. He was a Chinese warlord who successfully led the Chinese to the communist victory in 1949. His main aim was to modernize the state of Shanxi by promoting social reforms. Yan entered officer during the ongoing struggle of power between Li and Chiang. He tried to reconcile the two but did not succeed and ended up being alienated from both of them. By the end of 1949, the communists succeeded by repossessing the entire territory with Yan serving as premier until 1950 when Chiang resumed in power as rresident.
The current Premier
Lin Chuan is the incumbent premier who took office in May 2016. He was born in 1951 and attended Fu Jen Catholic University obtaining a degree in Economics in 1974. In 1978 he earned a master's degree in Public Finance from National Chengchi University. He later obtained a doctorate Public Finance in 1984 from the University of Illinois in the US. He served in different Government positions until March 15, 2016, when President Tsai Ing-Wen nominated him, and the Legislative Yuan confirmed him on May 20, 2016.