Born in Sanzhi Township, Taipei County.
Receives his Ph.D at Cornell University, USA.
Appointed Minister without Portfolio while concurrently serving as counselor at Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction (JCRR).
Appointed Mayor of Taipei. Completes major construction projects on public housing, Taipei’s suburban centers, the Xinyi project, Feitsui Dam, the Taipei expressways, relocation of factories to the countryside, and a modernized sewerage system.
Appointed Governor of Taiwan Province. Initiates agricultural reforms and works for balanced development between urban and rural areas. Trains 80,000 farming households to be a new force in Taiwan’s agricultural development, launches the 6-year rice-crop substitution program, and resolves imbalance between production and marketing of agricultural products.
Elected by the National Assembly as Vice President of the Republic of China.
Sworn in as President upon the death of President Chiang Ching-kuo.
Elected by the National Assembly as President of the Republic of China, with Li Yuan-zu as his vice president.
Elected President in the nation’s first-ever direct presidential election, with Lien-Chan as his vice president.
Sworn in as President. Expresses determination to undertake constitutional amendment and pardons 20 political dissidents, including Lu Hsiu-lien and Chen Chu.
Establishes and chairs the National Unification Council.
Establishes Mainland Affairs Council and initiates Six-Year National Development Plan to speed Taiwan’s modernization.
National Unification Council passes Guidelines for National Unification.
Establishes Straits Exchange Foundation.
First National Assembly passes Additional Articles of the Constitution and abolishes Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion, thereby completing the first-stage constitutional amendment.
Announces termination of the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion effective from May 1, 1991.
Issues executive order announcing the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion have been abolished.
Expresses Taiwan’s temporary acceptance of “dual recognition.”
Becomes a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum under the name “Chinese Taipei.”
Executive Yuan’s 228 Incident Research Team releases its report on 228 Incident.
Legislative Yuan passes amendment to Article 100 of Criminal Code, eliminating provisions regarding treasonous thought.
National Assembly passes eight Additional Articles of the Constitution, thereby completing the second-stage constitutional amendment.
Legislative Yuan passes Act Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.
Amends National Security Act. Deletes a large portion of the names from government’s blacklists, dissolves Taiwan Garrison Command.
ROC and South Korea sever diplomatic ties.
Nicaragua delivers speech in UN to call for organization to address absence of “Republic of China on Taiwan.”
ROC is granted observer status in General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) under the name of “Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.”
Talks held in Hong Kong between Shi Hwei-yow, director of the Legal Service Department at the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), and Zhou Ning, deputy director of the Counseling Division of mainland China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS).
Act Governing Security and Guidance of the Kinmen, Matsu, Tungsha, and Nansha Areas goes into effect. Kinmen and Matsu revert from military rule to local self-government.
First Koo-Wang talks take place in Singapore, four agreements are signed.
ROC’s seven Central American allies propose UN resolution to establish research committee for admission of the ROC, but proposal is rejected by UN General Committee.
ROC participates in first APEC Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM) under the name “Chinese Taipei.”
Advocates concept of “symbiosis” as country’s strategic vision.
The Legislative Yuan passes Organic Act for National Security Council and Organic Act for National Security Bureau, empowering president to decide policies concerning national defense, foreign affairs, and cross-strait relations.
Premier announces that country’s priorities for next 6 years will be to participate in international organizations and to implement the “Go South” policy.
SEF Representative Chiao Jen-ho and mainland China’s ARATS Representative Tang Shu-bei hold talks in Beijing, which come to be called the Chiao-Tang Talks.
Leaves for the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand on eight-day “ice-breaking” visit.
Groundbreaking ceremony held for construction of Subic Bay Industrial Park (SBIP), co-developed by the ROC and the Philippines, symbolizing first step of the “Go South” policy.
US launches Taiwan Policy Review, affirms commitment to policies of increasing arms sales to Taiwan to ensure its self-defense, enhancing reciprocal visits of high-ranking officials from both sides, and supporting Taiwan’s participation in international organizations on the basis of non-statehood status.
Publishes The Sorrow of Place, a compilation of his dialogue with Ryotaro Shiba, in which he mentions that the “KMT is a foreign political power” and laments the “tragedy of being born Taiwanese.”
Leaves for Nicaragua, Costa Rica, South Africa, and Swaziland on state visit.
National Assembly passes Constitutional amendment whereby 9th-term president will be popularly and directly elected, and reorganizes the 18 additional articles, which were previously passed, into 10 articles, thereby completing the third-stage constitutional amendment.
ROC representative office in US changes its name to Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States.
Holds first popular elections for governor of Taiwan Province and mayors of Taipei and Kaohsiung municipalities since implementation of the Constitution.
Publishes Transforming Taiwan, in which he expresses his central concepts of governing—developing “a greater Taiwan” and transforming it into a new hub for the Chinese world.
Mainland Chinese President Jiang Zemin announces eight-point proposal on Taiwan.
WTO replaces GATT on January 1, 1995 and extends ROC’s observer status on January 31.
Attends inauguration ceremony of 228 Memorial Monument and expresses apology on behalf of government to families of victims of the incident.
Initiates National Health Insurance program.
Embarks on visit to the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.
Announces six-point proposal regarding Taiwan-mainland relations when presiding over National Unification Council meeting.
Leaves for United States on six-day visit for reunion at alma mater, Cornell University, where he delivers a speech entitled “Always in My Heart,” marking first visit to the US by an ROC head of state.
Mainland China announces missile tests in Taiwan Strait.
Mainland China announces military exercises on eve of ROC presidential election.
Secretary-General Ding Mou-shih of National Security Council travels to New York to hold talks with high-level U.S. national security officials concerning cross-strait issues. Visit also enhances interactions of high-level officials on both sides.
US President Bill Clinton sends USS Independence and USS Nimitz to cruise Taiwan Strait.
Elected President in the ROC’s first-ever direct presidential election.
Sworn in as President.
Announces “no haste, be patient” policy as the guideline for cross-strait relations.
Advocates “spiritual reform” in address on Taiwan’s Retrocession Day.
Convenes National Development Conference (NDC), in which numerous points of consensus are reached, including: to freeze provincial-level elections and to cancel requirement for Legislative Yuan’s consent in president’s appointment of the premier.
Legislative Yuan passes amendment to February 28 Incident Disposition and Compensation Act, designating February 28 as “Peace Memorial Day” and a national holiday.
National Assembly passes fourth constitutional amendment, including: to streamline the provincial administration; to cancel requirement for Legislative Yuan’s consent in president’s appointment of the premier; to empower Legislative Yuan to recall cabinet through a no-confidence vote; to empower president to dissolve Legislative Yuan; and to cancel limit on funding for education, science, and culture.
Visits Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, and Paraguay.
Nicaragua and eight other ROC allies put forward proposal at UN for revocation of Resolution 2578, which excludes ROC from the world body. Proposal is rejected.
Asian Financial Crisis breaks out.
Remarks in interview with Der Spiegel that ROC is a sovereign state and that the “one country, two systems” policy therefore does not apply.
US President Bill Clinton announces in Shanghai the US “three noes” policy toward Taiwan—no support for Taiwan independence, no support for the “two Chinas,” and no support for Taiwan’s participation in state-based international organizations.
Taiwan’s representative Koo Chen-fu attends second Koo-Wang talks in Shanghai and also travels to Beijing to meet with Jiang Zemin.
Groundbreaking ceremony held for construction of Asia’s first human rights monument on Green Island.
Publishes With the People Always in My Heart.
Raises for the first time in his interview with Deutsche Welle the concept of “special state-to-state relationship” between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
US President Clinton announces “Three Pillars” for cross-strait relations—the “one China” policy, cross-strait dialogue, and peaceful resolution to cross-strait differences.
National Assembly passes 5th constitutional amendment, whereby: Assembly members are selected based on each party’s proportion of political seats starting from the 4th session; Legislators’ term of office is changed to four years beginning with 5th session of Legislative Yuan; and women’s seats are set aside in Assembly.
Earthquake measured at 7.3 on Richter scale jolts island, resulting in disaster.
Declares state of emergency and pledges all-out rescue and relief efforts for September 21 earthquake.
U.S. House of Representatives passes Taiwan Security Enhancement Act.
Mr. Chen Shui-bian, representing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is elected President.
National Assembly passes 6th constitutional amendment, which drastically reduces Assembly’s powers and functions. Ad hoc Assembly members are selected instead based on each party’s proportion of political seats. Assembly will shift the following responsibilities to the Legislative Yuan: by-election of Vice President; power of consent to personnel appointments; proposal of constitutional amendments; and proposals to recall the President and Vice President.
Steps down from the presidency.