Originally from Hengshan County in Hunan Province on the Chinese mainland, and born in Hong Kong. Receives a bachelor's degree from the College of Law, National Taiwan University, a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from New York University, and a Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree from Harvard Law School.
Becomes the deputy director-general of the First Bureau of the Presidential Office, and then serves as President Chiang Ching-kuo's English secretary, involved in the task of lifting martial law and permitting residents in Taiwan to visit their mainland relatives.
Appointed chairman of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission of the Executive Yuan, and concurrently assigned to form a Mainland Affairs Task Force, subsequently becoming the body's executive secretary. Formulates the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and establishes Mainland Affairs Council under the Executive Yuan as well as Straits Exchange Foundation, institutionalizing cross-strait exchanges.
Appointed deputy minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, and concurrently elected as a KMT representative at-large in the Second National Assembly, participating in the task of drawing up the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China.
Appointed Minister of Justice, in which position he produces outstanding results on launching an aggressive campaign to fight against corruption and drugs, cracking down on organized crime, investigating allegations of vote-buying, and reforming the prison system.
1998 - 2002
Wins the Taipei city mayoral election by a landslide two times respectively. Succeeds in transforming Taipei into a world-class cosmopolitan city. Many domestic and international polls frequently put Taipei in the front ranks.
March 22, 2008
Elected as the 12th-term President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), securing an unprecedented victory with a total of 7.65 million votes, or 58.4 percent of the vote. Inaugurated on May 20, 2008, realizing Taiwan’s second transfer of political power.
January 14, 2012
Re-elected as the 13th-term President, with 6.89 million votes, or 51.6 percent of the vote.
May 20, 2008
Sworn in as the 12th-term President of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
June 11, 2008
Cross-strait institutionalized negotiations , which have stalled for 10 years, officially resume with the first meeting between Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤, chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation) and Chen Yunlin (陳雲林, chairman of mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits) in Beijing.
July 4, 2008
Direct cross-strait flights begin with weekend charter flights, and then gradually expand to regular flights on weekdays.
July 18, 2008
Begins admitting Category-1 Mainland tourists (not via a third place or area) to visit Taiwan in groups.
October 1, 2008
Introduces the National Pension system to expand the social safety net, with mandatory insurance covering about 4.7 million people.
October 7, 2008
In response to the global financial crisis, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) announces full protection for deposits at public and private banks, to prevent a bank run and reassure the public.
January 18, 2009
Issues a consumption voucher worth NT$3,600 to every member of the population.
April 28, 2009
The Legislative Yuan passes an amendment to the Tobacco and Alcohol Tax Act, reducing the price of a bottle of red label rice wine from NT$180 to NT$25.
May 14, 2009
Signs the instruments of ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
May 18, 2009
Minister of Health Ching-Chuan Yeh (葉金川) participates in the World Health Assembly as an observer under the name "Chinese Taipei," with its delegate designated as "minister of health". This marks the first time since losing its United Nations (UN) membership that the ROC takes part in a UN-affiliated organization.
June 8, 2009
Signs the instrument of accession to the WTO's Government Procurement Agreement.
August 27, 2009
The government welcomes Dalai Lama to attend a prayer ceremony for victims of Morakot Typhoon.
August 28, 2009
Promulgates the Special Act Governing Reconstruction after Typhoon Morakot, establishes the Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council under the Executive Yuan, and allocates a special budget of NT$120 billion to advance reconstruction work.
February 3, 2010
Announces amendments to the Executive Yuan Organization Act to reorganize the government, reducing the number of cabinet-level ministries and commissions from 37 to 29.
April 25, 2010
Participates in a televised debate with Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen on the question: “Should the two sides of the Taiwan Strait sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement?”
June 29, 2010
Signs the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with mainland China to keep pace with increasing economic integration in Asia.
December 25, 2010
Select cities and counties are merged and upgraded into five new special municipalities in order to elevate the competitive strengths of our cities.
January 1, 2011
Launches 12-year public education, to be implemented in three years.
January 9, 2011
Presides over the groundbreaking ceremony for Kinmen Bridge in the offshore Kinmen Island.
January 11, 2011
The European Union waives visa requirement to ROC nationals traveling to Schengen Agreement member nations.
March 11, 2011
Following a massive earthquake in northeast Japan, immediately calls Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and pledges to donate NT$100 million for relief efforts. (By the end of June 2011 donations have exceeded NT$6 billion.)
July 20, 2011
The Agency Against Corruption under the Ministry of Justice is inaugurated, demonstrating the government's determination to prevent corruption.
August 1, 2011
Launches a program to provide tuition-free pre-school education for five-year-olds.
September 22, 2011
Signs a Taiwan-Japan Bilateral Investment Arrangement, the first in sixty years.
November 10, 2011
Signs a Taiwan-Japan open skies agreement, the first in sixty years.
January 14, 2012
Re-elected as the 13th-term ROC President with 6.89 million votes.
April 20, 2012
Presents the ROC's Initial National Reports on ICCPR & ICESCR (the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) since starting implementation of these two human rights covenants.
May 20, 2012
Sworn in as the 13-term President of the Republic of China.
August 1, 2012
The Ministry of the Interior begins implementing a national system to register actual prices of property transactions. By making the online database available to the general public, this can effectively protect consumer interests.
August 5, 2012
Attends activities commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty, and proposes the East China Sea Peace Initiative.
September 25, 2012
58 fishing boats from the Suao Fishermen's Association sail into the waters within 3 nautical miles of Diaoyutai Island, to declare their rights to fishing and livelihood.
October 2, 2012
The US announces that it will include Taiwan in its Visa Waiver Program, effective starting on November 1, 2012. This makes Taiwan the program's only participant with which the US does not have formal diplomatic relations.
November 27, 2012
The Legislative Yuan passes amendments to the six organizational acts of the Ministry of National Defense, launching a volunteer military service system.
January 1, 2013
Implements the second-generation National Health Insurance (NHI) program to ensure sound finance for our NHI.
Launches government reorganization.
March 10, 2013
Resumes negotiations with the US on a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) after a six-year hiatus.
March 12, 2013
The Ministry of Education expands its recognition of diplomas from mainland Chinese academic institutions, from 41 institutions to 111.
March 17, 2013
Attends with Mrs. Ma the inauguration mass for Pope Francis.
March 30, 2013
Presides over the inauguration ceremony for the 2,000-ton class Hsin Bei and Syun Hu No. 8 patrol vessels.
April 10, 2013
Signs a Taiwan-Japan fisheries agreement, fulfilling the principle of the East China Sea Peace Initiative, which declares that, "although sovereignty over national territory cannot be compromised, natural resources can be shared." For the first time in 40 years, Taiwan achieves its goal of "ceding nothing in terms of sovereignty, yet making great strides in terms of fishing rights" in the waters surrounding the Diaoyutai Island.
April 19, 2013
Signs a Taiwan-Philippines Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.
May 9-10, 2013
Pingtung-based fishing boat Guang Da Xing No. 28 is fired upon with automatic weapons by a Philippine government vessel. This results in the death of fisherman Mr. Hong Shi-cheng (洪石成) and severe damage to the boat. Demands that the Philippines take the following actions within three days: issue an apology; punish those responsible; compensate for the losses; and guarantee that such an incident never happens again. Failure to do so will bring sanctions upon the Philippines.
June 21, 2013
Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits hold the ninth high-level cross-strait talks in Shanghai, where the two sides sign Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement.
July 10, 2013
Signs the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC).
August 8, 2013
Manila Economic and Cultural Office Chairman Amadeo R. Perez Jr. arrives in Taiwan and travels to Liuqiu Township in southern Taiwan's Pingtung County to issue an apology and compensation to the family of Mr. Hong Shi-cheng, who was shot and killed when a Philippine government vessel attacked his boat in overlapping economic waters. The Philippines decides to bring homicide charges against the coast guard officers responsible for the killing. The ROC's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces that the 11 sanctions against the Philippines will be rescinded.
August 13, 2013
Announces amendments to the Code of Court Martial Procedure. Thereafter, outside times of war, military cases will be transferred to civilian courts.
September 24, 2013
Taiwan is invited to attend the 38th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as a "special guest," marking its return to that organization after a 42-year absence.
November 7, 2013
Taiwan and Singapore sign the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP).
November 14, 2013
The Gambia unilaterally declares that it will break off diplomatic relations with the ROC. Four days later, the ROC's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces that it will sever formal ties with The Gambia.
February 11, 2014
The heads of the agencies on each of the Taiwan Strait responsible for cross-strait affairs for the first time hold discussions and address each other by their official titles.
June 4, 2014
Announces that the Enforcement Act of the Convention on the Rights of the Child has entered into force, fulfilling the protection of children's rights.
June 18, 2014
The Jadeite Cabbage, a treasured item of Taiwan's National Palace Museum, is exhibited in Japan's Tokyo National Museum.
June 28, 2014
The electrification of Taiwan Railways' Hualien-Taitung Line is completed and the line opens to rail traffic. This has shortened the time traveling from Taipei to Taitung, taking only 3.5 hours, and enables people to travel back and forth between the two cities in the same day.
August 20, 2014
Promulgates the Act to Implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, fulfilling the protection of the interests of the physically and mentally disabled people.
September 3, 2014
The ROC government brings back the spirit tablets of some 100,000 ROC soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the World War II in Burma and pays tribute to them for the first time in a fall memorial.
September 19, 2014
Receives 2014 Eisenhower Medallion from US People to People International (PTPI).
October 10, 2014
In his National Day Address, expresses his support for the democracy movement in Hong Kong, and urges mainland China to let some people go democratic first. His statement has been widely applauded by ruling and opposition party lawmakers.
March 24, 2015
Makes a condolence visit to former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, marking the first visit to Singapore by an ROC president since former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) visited the country in 1988.
May 26, 2015
Proposes the South China Sea Peace Initiative with five urges, with the hope of transforming the South China Sea into a sea of peace and cooperation.
June 5, 2015
The Legislative Yuan approves the amendments to the Income Tax Act, establishing the new consolidated housing and land tax system, which will take effect in 2016.
June 6, 2015
Presides over a ceremony inaugurating the two patrol cutters of the Coast Guard Administration—the Kaohsiung and the Yilan.
June 15, 2015
The Legislative Yuan passes the Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act, clearly setting the nation's concrete goals for reducing carbon emissions.
June 16, 2015
The year of 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the ROC's victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan. Attends a joint graduation ceremony of the ROC's five military academies, in which he awards commemorative medals to the veterans who fought in the war.
July 1, 2015
The Fourth Nuclear Power Plant is mothballed to keep the option open to future generations.
July 11, 2015
Departs to visit three diplomatic allies in Latin America—the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Nicaragua—on a trip codenamed the Forever Rising Project. During the trip, makes a transit stop in Boston, Massachusetts for the first time and delivers a speech at his alma mater of Harvard University.
July 20, 2015
Kinmen County signs a water procurement contract with mainland China's Fujian Province in order to import water from the coastal city of Jinjiang.
September 10, 2015
Presents a citation to late ROC Ambassador Ho Feng-Shan (何鳳山), which is accepted by his family, in recognition of his magnanimous efforts in issuing several thousand "Visas for Life" to Jewish refugees while serving as ROC Consul-General in Vienna in World War II.
November 5, 2015
Taiwan and the Philippines sign the Agreement Concerning the Facilitation of Cooperation on Law Enforcement in Fisheries Matters, putting the South China Sea Peace Initiative into practice.
November 7, 2015
Meets with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平)in Singapore, confirming that the 1992 Consensus is the common political foundation for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and establishing the foundation of an institutionalized exchange mechanism for future cross-strait leaders.
December 20, 2015
The 10th million person of foreign visitors arrives in Taiwan, making it one of the world's major tourism destinations which have over 10 million foreign visitors in a year.
January 1, 2016
Formally implements the consolidated housing and land tax system, achieving residential justice.
January 28, 2016
Visits the Taiping Island (also known as Itu Aba) in the Nansha (Spratly) Islands; proposes the South China Sea Peace Initiative Roadmap; recognizes that the Taiping Island is an "island" and not a "rock"; stresses that "Peace in the South China Sea and our national territory secure forever."
March 25, 2016
The number of countries and territories offering Taiwan nationals visa-free courtesies or landing visas reaches 164, which is the highest ever.
May 1, 2016
The ROC's Coast Guard Administration and Council of Agriculture respectively dispatch two and one vessels to protect Taiwan's fishermen in the high seas near the Okinotori reefs in the Western Pacific.
May 20, 2016
Steps down from the presidency.