The 180cm midfielder’s previous clubs include Taipower in Taiwan’s soccer league and also Hong Kong’s TSW Pegasus. He was appointed skipper of the Taiwan national team in August 2009, becoming the side’s youngest-ever captain.
Although Chen is the first Taiwan-born professional to play in China’s top division, he is not the first Taiwan international to do so.
That honor goes to Xavier Chen, the Belgian-born player who is currently with Guizhou Renhe. The fullback appeared in 25 games for Renhe last season, scoring once.
Xavier Chen has a Taiwanese father and a French mother. He began his career with RSC Anderlecht’s junior team, before joining the Belgian top tier and then going to China.
In his international debut, the fullback scored the winning goal for Taiwan in their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Malaysia on July 3, 2011 in front of a record-breaking 16,768 spectators at the Taipei Municipal Stadium.