Lee Yuan-tsu

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Lee Yuan-tsu
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Vice President of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 1990 – 19 May 1996
PresidentLee Teng-hui
Preceded byLee Teng-hui
Succeeded byLien Chan
Secretary-General of the Presidential Office of the Republic of China
In office
18 October 1988 – 19 May 1990
PresidentLee Teng-hui
DeputyCheyne J. Y. Chiu
Preceded byShen Chang-huan
Succeeded byChiang Yen-si
Minister of Justice of the Republic of China
In office
30 May 1978 – 1 June 1984
Preceded byWang Daoyuan (汪道淵)
Succeeded byShih Chi-yang
Minister of Education of the Republic of China
In office
19 April 1974 – 29 May 1978
Preceded byChiang Yen-si (蔣彥士)
Succeeded byChu Hui-sen (朱匯森)
Personal details
Born(1923-09-24)24 September 1923
Pingjiang, Yueyang, Hunan, Republic of China
Died8 March 2017(2017-03-08) (aged 93)
Toufen, Miaoli, Taiwan
Nationality Taiwan (Republic of China)
Political partyKuomintang
Spouse(s)Xu Manyun (c.1948— January 1998)
Alma materNational Chengchi University
University of Bonn

Lee Yuan-tsu (Chinese: 李元簇; pinyin: Lǐ Yuáncù; Wade–Giles: Li3 Yüan2-tsʻu4; 24 September 1923 — 8 March 2017), was a Kuomintang politician who served under Lee Teng-hui as the eighth Vice President of the Republic of China.[1] He was of Hakka ancestry.[2]

Early life[edit]

Lee obtained his bachelor's degree in law and politics from National Chengchi University in Nanjing in 1946. He retreated to Taiwan from Mainland China in 1949 after the end of Chinese Civil War with the National Revolutionary Army. He obtained his doctoral degree from University of Bonn in Germany in 1963.[2]

Political career[edit]

Lee entered politics in 1969 when he became a legal consultant for the Ministry of National Defense. He served as Minister of Education from 1974 to 1978, then Minister of Justice until 1984 and Secretary-General to the President between 1988 and 1990.[2]

He was nominated by Lee Teng-hui to be the Vice President of the Republic of China after the death of President Chiang Ching-kuo in 1988. In 1989, President Lee stated that his vice president must be a Mainland Chinese. Eventually Lee Yuan-tsu was elected as the Vice President by the National Assembly on 21 March 1990, becoming the last Vice President to be elected by the National Assembly before the introduction of direct presidential and vice presidential elections in Taiwan afterwards. He took office on 20 May 1990 serving until 19 May 1996.[3]


After retiring from politics in 1996, Lee resumed his teaching position at National Chengchi University. His wife died in 1998. Eventually, he moved to Toufen in Miaoli County, where he lived a low-profile life.[4]


Lee's death memorial service

In his later life, Lee started to develop kidney problems which he treated with dialysis.[5] Weeks before his death, Lee had stopped eating and depended on nutritional injection only.[4] He told his medical team that he wished to die with dignity and rejected resuscitation.[3] Lee died of kidney failure at 4:15 a.m. on 8 March 2017, aged 93, in his home in Miaoli County.[6]


  1. ^ "Li Yuan-tsu". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  2. ^ a b c Chao, Stephanie (9 March 2017). "Ex-Vice President Lee Yuan-tsu dies at 94". China Post. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b Chung, Li-hua; Hsu, Chan-yi; Chin, Jonathan (9 March 2017). "Lee Yuan-tsu dies aged 94". Taipei Times. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b Kuan, Jui-ping; Wang, Cheng-chung; Chen, Christine (8 March 2017). "Former vice president dies aged 93 (update)". Central News Agency. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  5. ^ Lee, Wendy (8 March 2017). "Former Vice President Lee Yuan-tsu dies at 94". Taiwan News. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  6. ^ Kuan, Jui-ping; Chen, Christie (8 March 2017). "Former vice president Lee Yuan-tsu dies at 93". Central News Agency. Retrieved 8 March 2017.