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Tue, Apr 10, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Shieh Tung-min, former vice president, dies at 95


Former vice president Shieh Tung-min (謝東閔) died on Sunday night at his home in a Taipei suburb from a heart attack. He was 95.

Shieh was the first ethnic Taiwanese to serve as Taiwan provincial governor and vice president.

Shieh was admitted to Taipei's Veterans General Hospital on Jan. 23 following a mild heart attack. His condition had fluctuated since then, but steadily worsened after he lapsed into coma on Sunday. He died at home surrounded by his family.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and opposition KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and other KMT leaders all paid their respects to Shieh's family.

Chen and Lu lauded Shieh as the embodiment of Taiwan's development history. They especially noted that during his tenure as Taiwan provincial governor, Shieh advocated cottage industries, supported the domestic processing of agricultural products and took care of low-income families. Shieh had also served as a senior adviser to Chen.

Born on Jan. 25, 1907, in Changhua, Shieh went to study in China in his youth and returned to Taiwan after the end of World War II. Shieh served at different times as Kaohsiung county magistrate, director of the Department of Civil Affairs and speaker of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly.

Shieh suffered serious injuries to both hands when a parcel bomb sent to his office blew up on Oct. 10, 1966. The bomb was sent by Wang Sing-nan (王幸男), who is now a DPP legislator, to highlight the cause of Taiwan independence.

Wang said yesterday that he had no remorse for what he did at the time to protest the KMT's authoritarian rule.

Shieh was assigned to serve as Taiwan provincial governor in 1972 by then premier Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), thereby becoming Taiwan's first civilian governor. Before him, all of Taiwan's provincial governors had military backgrounds.

Shieh was vice president from 1978 to 1984 under Chiang Ching-kuo, and continued to be influential in the KMT after stepping down.

Shieh was one of the KMT heavyweights who often helped mediate in the party's fierce internal strife over policies and ideology under Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) chairmanship.

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