Yao Chia-wen

Yao Chia-wen (Chinese: 姚嘉文; pinyin: Yáo Jiāwén; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Iâu Ka-bûn; born 15 June 1938) is a Taiwanese politician and former president of the country's Examination Yuan. He was the second chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Yao Chia-wen
CW Yao.jpg
Yao Chia-wen in 2007
14th President of the Examination Yuan
In office
21 June 2002 – 1 September 2008[1]
Preceded byHsu Shui-teh
Succeeded byWu Jin-lin (acting)
John Kuan
Member of the Legislative Yuan
In office
February 1, 1993 – January 31, 1996
ConstituencyChanghua County
2nd Chairperson of the DPP
In office
December 20, 1987 – October 30, 1988
Preceded byChiang Peng-chien
Succeeded byHuang Shin-chieh
Personal details
Born (1938-06-15) June 15, 1938 (age 83)
Wabi Town, Shōka District, Taichū Prefecture, Japanese Taiwan (modern-day Hemei, Changhua, Taiwan)
Nationality Taiwan (Republic of China)
Political partyDemocratic Progressive Party
Spouse(s)Chou Ching-yu
Alma materNational Taiwan University

Early lifeEdit

Born in Wabi Town, Shōka District, Taichū Prefecture, Japanese Taiwan (modern-day Hemei, Changhua, Taiwan), Yao has eleven younger siblings. In 1957, he started working as a clerk in the Bureau of Telecommunications, which is now the Chunghwa Telecom. Yao studied law at the National Taiwan University in Taipei. He passed the bar exam in 1966 and got his master's degree in law two years later.

Yao co-founded the "Legal Advice Center for Citizens" (平民法律服務中心) in 1972 after attending the University of California at Berkeley as a visiting scholar. In 1975, he and Lin Yi-hsiung served as defense lawyers for Kuo Yu-hsin [zh]. Four years later, Yao represented Yu Teng-fa.[2]

Yao is married to Chou Ching-yu, who is a former magistrate of Changhua County.

Political careerEdit

Yao called for the abolition of the National Assembly in his book Maintaining and Amending the Law (護法與變法) published in 1978. In 1979, Yao was arrested and sentenced to a 12-year prison for his involvement in the Kaohsiung Incident. He served in prison for seven years and became the chairperson of the Democratic Progressive Party after he was released. Under his chairmanship, the party adopted the "Program for the Sovereign Independence of Taiwan" (臺灣主權獨立案). In 1992, Yao joined the Welfare State Alliance (福利國連線) faction of the DPP founded by Frank Hsieh. He was elected a member of the Legislative Yuan the same year, but was not re-elected in 1995.

In 1997, Yao started teaching at National Tsing Hua University as an associate professor. He worked as a lawyer again in 1999, as he ran unsuccessfully for legislator again in 1998. President Chen Shui-bian appointed Yao as one of his Senior Advisors in 2000. Two years later, he was appointed as the President of the Examination Yuan. After a contentious but successful confirmation,[3] media coverage focused heavily on alleged extramarital affairs.[4][5][6]

Yao was replaced by the Ma Ying-jeou government in 2008 after Chen Shui-bian's administration left office. Yao was named a senior adviser to Tsai Ing-wen in October 2016.[7]

Political ideologyEdit

Yao supports the Taiwan independence movement. He was an editor of the Formosa Magazine, which is associated with the Tangwai movement. In 2006, he wrote a book that examines treaties that have strongly influenced the Taiwanese history with a goal to "set the facts straight" as the history of Taiwan is controversial.[8]


  1. ^ "考試院全球資訊網".
  2. ^ "Profile of a human rights lawyer" (PDF). Taiwan Communiqué (29): 2–3. March 1987. ISSN 1027-3999. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  3. ^ Hsu, Crystal (22 June 2002). "Yao Chia-wen triumphs against the odds". Taipei Times. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Yao tells lawmakers, 'I love my wife'". Taipei Times. 11 June 2002. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  5. ^ Low, Stephanie (15 September 2002). "Public split on politicians' affairs". Taipei Times. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  6. ^ Low, Stephanie (28 August 2002). "Woman claims used toilet paper proves affair". Taipei Times. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  7. ^ Lee, Hsin-fang; Chin, Jonathan (11 October 2016). "Tsai snubbed by Yu Shyi-kun and Su Tseng-chang". Taipei Times. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  8. ^ Chuang, Jimmy (18 Apr 2006). "New book aims to set facts straight on nation's history". Taipei Times. p. 3.

External linksEdit