Su Tseng-chang

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Su Tseng-chang
Premier of the Republic of China
In office
14 January 2019 – 31 January 2023
PresidentTsai Ing-wen
Vice PremierChen Chi-mai
Shen Jong-chin
Preceded byWilliam Lai
Succeeded byChen Chien-jen
In office
25 January 2006 – 21 May 2007
PresidentChen Shui-bian
Vice PremierTsai Ing-wen
Preceded byFrank Hsieh
Succeeded byChang Chun-hsiung
Chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party
In office
30 May 2012[1] – 28 May 2014
Preceded byTsai Ing-wen
Succeeded byTsai Ing-wen
In office
15 February 2005 – 3 December 2005
Preceded byKer Chien-ming (acting)
Succeeded byAnnette Lu (acting)
Magistrate of Taipei County
In office
20 December 1997 – 20 May 2004
Preceded byYou Ching
Succeeded byLin Hsi-yao (acting)
Chou Hsi-wei
Magistrate of Pingtung County
In office
20 December 1989 – 20 December 1993
Preceded byShih Meng-hsiung
Succeeded byWu Tse-yuan
Personal details
Born (1947-07-28) 28 July 1947 (age 75)
Pingtung City, Taiwan, Republic of China
Political partyDemocratic Progressive Party
SpouseChan Hsiu-ling
Children3, including Su Chiao-hui
Alma materNational Taiwan University (LL.B.)
Su Tseng-chang
Traditional Chinese蘇貞昌
Simplified Chinese苏贞昌

Hope Su Tseng-chang[2] (Chinese: 蘇貞昌; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: So͘ Cheng-chhiong; born 28 July 1947) is a Taiwanese politician who served as premier of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2019 to 2023. He was the chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party in 2005 and from 2012 to 2014. Su served as Chief of Staff to President Chen Shui-bian in 2004.[3] He is currently the longest-serving Democratic Progressive premier in history.

Su actively campaigned for the DPP presidential nomination in 2008, but finished second to Frank Hsieh. Su eventually teamed with Hsieh as the vice presidential nominee; the DPP lost to the Kuomintang ticket of Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Siew. Su ran for Taipei City Mayor in November 2010, but lost to the incumbent Hau Lung-pin by a 12-point margin. Su campaigned for the 2012 presidential candidacy of the DPP in 2011, but lost to Tsai Ing-wen by a very narrow margin.[4] Following the loss of Tsai to Ma Ying-jeou, Su was elected to succeed Tsai as DPP chairman in 2012.[5]

During the Chen administration, Su, along with politicians Annette Lu, Frank Hsieh and Yu Shyi-kun, are collectively known as the "Big Four of the Democratic Progressive Party".[6] Su is nicknamed the "Lightbulb" or "E Ball" (電火球) and "Go Go Go" (衝衝衝) by the Taiwanese media and DPP voters, a nickname he earned in the 1980s for his charismatic approach to campaigning during election season, in addition to being an affectionate reference to the balding Su.[7][8]

Personal background[edit]

Su was born at Ministry of Health and Welfare Pingtung Hospital in Pingtung, Taiwan on 28 July 1947. He studied at the National Taiwan University. He was a practicing lawyer from 1973 to 1983 and became a defense lawyer in the Kaohsiung Incident trials.[9][10] In September 1986, Su and seventeen others founded the Democratic Progressive Party.[11][12]

He was previously the magistrate of Pingtung County (1989–1993) and magistrate of Taipei County (1997–2004).[11] His first election as the Taipei magistrate was aided by a split between the New Party, the Kuomintang, and independent candidate Lin Chih-chia. He won the election in dramatic fashion partly due to the appearance of the terminally ill Lu Hsiu-yi, who kneeled on stage in support of Su on the eve of the election.[13] Su's subsequent reelection occurred by a wide margin despite the ability of the Pan-Blue Coalition to present a united candidate, Wang Chien-shien.[14][15] He was Secretary-General (Chief of Staff) to the Office of the President of the Republic of China under President Chen Shui-bian (2004–2005). After President Chen resigned as DPP chairman following the 2004 legislative elections, he was elected the 10th-term DPP chairman.[11] Following DPP losses in the 2005 municipal elections on December 3, Su announced that he would, pursuant to a pre-election promise, resign from the chairmanship.[16]

Su is married to Chan Hsiu-ling (詹秀齡) with whom he has three daughters, one of which is Su Chiao-hui.[17]

First premiership: 2006–2007[edit]

Su was announced as the new premier on January 19, 2006, and took his oath of office, along with his cabinet, on January 25, 2006. Soon after, Su promised to step down if the people's welfare (referring to crime and other civil problems) did not improve within six months.[18] Su faced calls for his resignation after the Rebar Chinese Bank run, but refused to leave his post at the time.[19][20]

Su was a contender for the DPP nomination in the 2008 presidential election.[21][22] He formally announced his candidacy on Feb. 25. In the DPP primary vote on May 6, 2007, Su received 46,994 votes, coming in second to former Premier Frank Hsieh. Conceding defeat in the primary, Su announced that he had withdrawn from the race.[23]

On May 12, 2007, Su submitted his letter of resignation to President Chen Shui-bian, ending his tenure on May 21.[24] With the resignation of Su and with ten months left in Chen's presidency, that would mean Chen's eight years as president will have seen at least six Premiers (with Chang Chun-Hsiung serving two separate tenures).[25] Su also stated that he previously submitted resignations numerous times over his sixteen-month tenure, but all were rejected by President Chen.[26]

First cabinet[edit]

The First Su Cabinet
Office Name Term
Premier Su Tseng-chang 2006–2007
Vice Premier Tsai Ing-wen 2006–2007
Minister of the Interior Lee I-yang 2006–2008
Minister of Foreign Affairs James C. F. Huang 2006–2008
Minister of National Defense Lee Jye 2006–2007
Minister of Finance Joseph Lyu 2006–2006
Ho Chih-chin 2006–2008
Minister of Justice Shih Mao-lin 2005–2008
Minister of Economic Affairs Morgan Huang 2006–2006
Steve Chen 2006–2008
Minister of Transportation and Communications Kuo Yao-chi 2006–2006
Tsai Duei 2006–2008
Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng 2006–2008

2008 presidential campaign[edit]

Su ran for vice president alongside Frank Hsieh, who was the DPP Nomination. Together, Su and Hsieh ran against Ma and Siew. On March 22, they lost in a landslide to Ma and Siew's 7,659,014 (58.45%) votes with their 5,444,949 (41.55%) votes.

Party Candidate Votes Percentage
President Vice president
Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg Kuomintang Ma Ying-Jeou Vincent Siew 7,659,014 58.45%
Green Island with White Cross.svg Democratic Progressive Party Frank Hsieh Su Tseng-chang 5,444,949 41.55%[27]
Total 13,103,963 100.00%

2010 Taipei mayoral race[edit]

Although Su had been considered a strong candidate to helm the newly created New Taipei City, because he had previously served the area as Taipei County Magistrate, he instead ran for the mayoralty of Taipei City.[28][29] Su vowed that should he win, he would serve out the entire term (through 2014) effectively ending any talks of a presidential run in 2012.[30] Su eventually lost the race to the incumbent mayor Hau Lung-pin.

2010 Taipei City Mayoral Election Result[31]
Party # Candidate Votes Percentage
Independent candidate icon (TW).svg Independent 1 Wu Yen-cheng (吳炎成) 1,832 0.13%
Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg Kuomintang 2
Hau Lung-pin
797,865 55.65%
Independent candidate icon (TW).svg Independent 3 Helen Hsiao (蕭淑華) 2,238 0.16%
Independent candidate icon (TW).svg Independent 4 Francis Wu (吳武明) 3,672 0.26%
Green Island with White Cross.svg Democratic Progressive Party 5 Su Tseng-chang 628,129 43.81%
Total 1,433,736 100.00%
Voter turnout 70.65%

2012 campaigns[edit]

Su declared his candidacy for the 2012 presidential candidacy, but lost a DPP party primary held in April 2011 to Tsai Ing-wen and Hsu Hsin-liang, by a margin of 1.35 percent.[32] He was subsequently elected DPP chairman in May 2012,[12] and was succeeded by Tsai in 2014, after dropping out of the chairmanship election in the wake of the Sunflower Student Movement.[33][34]

2018 New Taipei mayoral race[edit]

2018 New Taipei mayoralty election result
2018 New Taipei City mayoral results[35][36]
No. Candidate Party Votes Percentage
1 Su Tseng-chang Green Island with White Cross.svg Democratic Progressive Party 873,692 42.85%
2 Hou You-yi Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg Kuomintang 1,165,130 57.15% Vote1.svg

Total voters: 3,264,128; Valid votes: 2,038,822; Voter turnout: 62.46%.

Second premiership: 2019–2023[edit]

Su was appointed to the premiership on January 14, 2019, by President Tsai Ing-wen.[37] He succeeded William Lai, who had resigned in response to the Democratic Progressive Party's poor performance in the 2018 Taiwanese local elections. Aged 71, when he returned to the premiership, Su became one of the oldest to hold the office. Soon after Su assumed office, approval ratings for Tsai's presidential administration rose.[38] Su and his second cabinet resigned en masse following the 2020 Taiwanese legislative election, as stipulated in the constitution, but Tsai, who won reelection to the presidency, asked him to remain in his post.[39]

Su visited the crash site of the Hualien train derailment.[40]

On January 19, 2023, Su announced his resignation as Premier as part of a reshuffle following the DPP's heavy defeat in the 2022 Taiwanese local elections.[41] On January 30, Su and his cabinet resigned en masse again. He was replaced by former Vice-President Chen Chien-jen the following day, on January 31.[42][43]

Second cabinet[edit]

The Second Su Cabinet[44]
Office Name Term
Premier Su Tseng-chang 2019–2023
Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai 2019–2020
Shen Jong-chin 2020–2023
Secretary-General Li Meng-yen 2019–present
Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung 2019–present
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu 2019–present
Minister of National Defense Yen Teh-fa 2019–present
Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong 2019–present
Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung 2019–present
Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang 2019–present
Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin 2019–2020
Wang Mei-hua 2020–present
Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung 2019–2021
Wang Kwo-tsai 2021–present
Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun 2019–present
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung 2019–2022
Hsueh Jui-yuan 2022–present
Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chun 2019–2020
Lee Yung-te 2020–present
Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee 2019–2020
Wu Tsung-tsong 2020–present
Ministry of Digital Affairs Audrey Tang 2022–present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tsai, June (31 May 2012). "Former Premier Su takes over as DPP leader". Taiwan Today.
  2. ^ "獨/陳菊私人Line帳號英文名曝光!賴清德是「威廉」、蘇貞昌叫Hope JW是誰? | ETtoday新聞雲". (in Traditional Chinese). Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  3. ^ About Executive Yuan: Premier Archived 2011-05-21 at the Wayback Machine, Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan), Updated 2006-02-24
  4. ^ 林楠森 (27 April 2011). "蔡英文赢得民进党总统候选人提名" (in Chinese). BBC中文網. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  5. ^ "蘇貞昌得票率50.47% 當選民進黨主席" (in Chinese). Taiwan. Taiwan News. 27 May 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  6. ^ 李欣芳、邱燕玲 (29 September 2006). "四天王到齊 民進黨慶 營造大團結" (in Chinese). Taiwan. Liberty Times. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  7. ^ "《東森新聞》專訪 老縣長蘇貞昌暢談戀愛史、電火球由來" (in Chinese). Taiwan. 東森新聞. 21 June 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  8. ^ "". Twitter. Retrieved 2023-02-02. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  9. ^ Hwang, Jim (1 March 2008). "Finding Common Ground". Taiwan Today. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  10. ^ Lin, Irene (9 December 1999). "Kaohsiung Eight trial pointed way to Taiwan's future". Taipei Times. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  11. ^ a b c "Su Tseng-chang's political fortunes change rapidly". Taipei Times. Agence France Presse. 13 May 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  12. ^ a b Hsu, Jenny W. (27 May 2012). "Taiwan Ex-Premier Su Tseng-Chang Elected Head of Opposition Party". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  13. ^ "Su laments Lu Hsiu-yi on anniversary of death - Taipei Times". 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  14. ^ Copper, John Franklin (2005). Consolidating Taiwan's Democracy. University Press of America. p. 128. ISBN 9780761829775.
  15. ^ Sheng, Virginia (2 February 2002). "The Voters Speak". Taiwan Today. Archived from the original on 2 February 2002. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  16. ^ Grauwels, Stephan (3 December 2005). "Taiwan Opposition Wins Local Elections". Washington Post. Associated Press. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  17. ^ Huang, Jewel (1 January 2005). "Su Tseng-chang enters race for DPP chairman". Taipei Times. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  18. ^ Chang, S.C. / CNA, "PREMIER TO QUIT POLITICS IF SOCIAL ORDER NOT IMPROVED WITHIN 6 MONTHS" Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine, Government Information Office, 2006-03-15
  19. ^ Hille, Kathrin (14 January 2007). "Taiwan PM under pressure to quit". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2022-12-10. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  20. ^ "FSC chief steps down over recent bank runs". China Post. 13 January 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  21. ^ CNA, WASHINGTON, "Adviser predicts a Su-Tsai DPP ticket for 2008", Taipei Times, 2006-02-06
  22. ^ AFP, TAIPEI, "Su Tseng-chang excels at rebounding from defeat", Taipei Times, 2006-01-20
  23. ^ "Frank Hsieh wins DPP presidential primary". China Post. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  24. ^ "Taiwanese prime minister resigns". BBC News. 12 May 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  25. ^ "News". Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
  26. ^ "Ĭ } U x A @Ĭ G ] ܤơ@ t X ' λݭn". Archived from the original on 2007-05-14.
  27. ^ "第 12任總統(副總統)選舉 候選人得票數". 中央選舉委員會 (in Chinese). Taiwan. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  28. ^ Chao, Vincent Y. (11 May 2010). "Su Tseng-chang rebuffs call to run in Sinbei City". Taipei Times. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  29. ^ "Taiwan Ex-Premier Su Tseng-chang to run for Taipei City Mayor: Reports". Taiwan News. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  30. ^ Chao, Vincent Y.; Mo, Yan-chih (26 November 2010). "Tsai downplays DPP official's comments". Taipei Times. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  31. ^ "99年直轄市長選舉 候選人得票數". 中央選舉委員會 (in Chinese). Taiwan. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  32. ^ Chao, Vincent Y. (28 April 2011). "Su concedes defeat in DPP primaries". Taipei Times. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  33. ^ Wang, Chris (26 May 2014). "Tsai Ing-wen elected as DPP chair". Taipei Times. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  34. ^ Chang, Jung-hsiang; Hsu, Elizabeth (May 25, 2014). "Tsai Ing-wen wins DPP chair election (update)". Central News Agency. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
  35. ^ "107年直轄市長選舉 候選人得票數". 中央選舉委員會 (in Chinese). Taiwan. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  36. ^ "2018 Local Elections". Archived from the original on 2018-11-24.
  37. ^ "Former premier Su to regain position". Taipei Times. 12 January 2019.
  38. ^ [1] Pan, Jason. (May 20, 2019). "Tsai’s approval rating rising, poll shows." Taipei Times. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  39. ^ Hsieh, Chun-ling (14 January 2020). "Su and Cabinet resign, but Su to stay on". Taipei Times. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  40. ^ "Taiwan: Dozens killed as train crashes and derails in tunnel". BBC News. 2021-04-02. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  41. ^ "Ex-VP Chen Chien-jen appointed premier - Focus Taiwan". Retrieved 2023-03-04.
  42. ^ "Su Tseng-chang's Cabinet resigns en masse amid reshuffle - Focus Taiwan". Retrieved 2023-03-04.
  43. ^ "Former vice president Chen to become new Taiwan premier". Reuters. 2023-01-25. Retrieved 2023-03-04.
  44. ^ "蘇貞昌內閣完整名單一次看!3分之2閣員留任" (in Chinese). Taiwan. 東森財經新聞. 13 January 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2022.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Magistrate of Pingtung County
Succeeded by
Preceded by Magistrate of Taipei County
Succeeded by
Preceded by Premier of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by Premier of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chen Chu
Chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party
Succeeded by