Yen Chia-kan

Yen Chia-kan (Chinese: 嚴家淦; pinyin: Yán Jiāgàn; Wade–Giles: Yen2 Chia1-kan4; 23 October 1905 – 24 December 1993), also known as C. K. Yen, was a Kuomintang politician. He succeeded Chiang Kai-shek as President of the Republic of China on 5 April 1975,[1] being sworn in on 6 April 1975,[2][3] and served out the remainder of Chiang's term until 20 May 1978.

C. K. Yen
Yen Chia-kan
President Yen Chia-kan.png
Official portrait, 1976
President of the Republic of China
In office
5 April 1975 – 20 May 1978
PremierChiang Ching-kuo
KMT ChairmanChiang Ching-kuo
(de facto leader)
Preceded byChiang Kai-shek
Succeeded byChiang Ching-kuo
Vice President of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 1966 – 5 April 1975
PresidentChiang Kai-shek
Preceded byChen Cheng
Succeeded byHsieh Tung-min
Premier of the Republic of China
In office
16 December 1963 – 29 May 1972
PresidentChiang Kai-shek
Vice PremierYu Ching-tang
Huang Shao-ku
Chiang Ching-kuo
Preceded byChen Cheng
Succeeded byChiang Ching-kuo
Minister of Finance of the Republic of China
In office
19 March 1958 - 14 December 1963
PremierYu Hung-Chun
Chen Cheng
Preceded byP. Y. Shu
Succeeded byChen Ching-yu
In office
12 March 1950 - 26 May 1954
PremierChen Cheng
Preceded byKuan Chi-yu
Succeeded byP. Y. Shu
Chairman of Taiwan Province
In office
7 June 1954 – 16 August 1957
Preceded byYu Hung-chun
Succeeded byChow Chih-jou
Minister of Vocational Assistance Commission for Retired Servicemen of the Republic of China
In office
1 November 1954 – 24 April 1956
PremierYu Hung-Chun
Ambassador to Tunisia
In office
1 June 1981-1 December 1981
Member of Parliament for Taipei
In office
Personal details
Born23 October 1905
Suzhou, Jiangsu, Qing Dynasty
Died24 December 1993(1993-12-24) (aged 88)
Taipei, Taiwan
Resting placeWuzhi Mountain Military Cemetery
NationalityRepublic of China
Political partyKuomintang
SpouseLiu Chi-chun
Yen Chia-kan
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Early lifeEdit

He was born in Mudu, Wu County, Jiangsu province in 1905. He came of a prestigious Suzhou family, the Yan (Yen) Family of Dongshan (東山嚴氏).[4] He graduated from Saint John's University in Shanghai with a degree in chemistry in 1926.[5]

Political careerEdit

In 1931, Yen began serving as a manager of the Shanghai railway administration.[6][5] Yen started to work as director of the finance department of Fujian Provincial Government in 1938.[6][5] During his term, he initiated a policy of land tax payment for farmers with their agricultural produce. This policy was then adopted nationwide across China and contributed significantly for the nation food supply during World War II.[7]

When he arrived in Taiwan in October 1945, Yen was appointed transportation director for the Taiwan Provincial Government. He was later named provincial finance director.[6] From the provincial government, Yen was subsequently elevated to chairman of the Bank of Taiwan. In this position, Yen became known as "father of the New Taiwan dollar," as the currency was introduced in June 1949, during his tenure at the bank.[6] Yen then served as Minister of Economic Affairs, minister of finance, and Governor of Taiwan Province. He became premier on 16 December 1963.[8][9]

In 1966 the National Assembly elected Yen as Vice President and re-elected him in 1972.[10][11] As vice president, Yen served as the most senior government official of the Republic of China to travel aboard, as Chiang Kai-shek had stated that he would not leave Taiwan until the Chinese Civil War was resolved by unification of the Republic of China.[12] In May 1967, Yen toured the United States, during which he met US President Lyndon B. Johnson.[12] On the afternoon of January 5, 1973, Yen visited Washington, D.C. and met with US President Richard Nixon.[13] In December 1974, Yen traveled throughout Central America and the Caribbean, during which he attended the inauguration of Anastasio Somoza Debayle, who was starting his second stint as President of Nicaragua.[14]

Yen became the second President following the death of Chiang Kai-shek.[5] During his presidency, the Kuomintang worked on the "Chang'an Project" (長安計畫), which was to design, manufacture, and test defensive missiles.[15][16] On 9 July 1977, he visited Saudi Arabia, becoming the first Republic of China president to visit another country after the government moved to Taiwan.[6][17] On 20 May 1978, Yen resigned and was succeeded by Chiang's son, KMT Chairman and Premier Chiang Ching-kuo.

Yen served as chairman of the Council on Chinese Cultural Renaissance during his presidency.[18] Though he wished to resign after leaving the presidency, the organization's bylaws were amended so that Yen could retain the post.[18] He was also chairman of the board of the National Palace Museum until 1991.


Yen had been bedridden since a brain hemorrhage in 1986. He suffered a second brain hemorrhage in 1992 and died at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital on 24 December 1993 the age of 88.[19][20] He was buried at the Wuchih Mountain Military Cemetery in New Taipei City.[6][21]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 第5任 嚴總統家淦先生. 中華民國總統府 Office of the President Republic of China (Taiwan) (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Retrieved 29 September 2019. 64年04月05日 蔣中正總統逝世,依憲法規定繼任第五任總統。
  2. ^ "Chiang Kai-shek (1st - 5th terms)". Office of the President Republic of China (Taiwan). Retrieved 29 September 2019. 1975-04-06 Sworn in as President in accordance with Constitution upon death of President Chiang Kai-shek.
  3. ^ A Pictorial History of the Republic of China : Its Founding and Development. Vol. 2. Taipei: Modern China Press. 1981. p. 561 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ By Sun Zhongwang, "Yan Family, Dongting Dongshan Anrenli (孙中旺,《洞庭東山安仁里严氏》) Archived 2010-02-21 at the Wayback Machine The Office of Suzhou History (苏州地方志). Yan Jiachi, an important politician in the Reformed Government of the Republic of China and the Wang Jingwei regime (Republic of China-Nanjing) also came of this family.
  5. ^ a b c d "President C. K. Yen carries on". Free China Review. 1 June 1975. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Han Cheung (31 May 2019). "Taiwan in Time: The (often) forgotten president". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Office of the President, ROC (Taiwan)".
  8. ^ "Yen Chia-kan", in Heads of States and Governments Since 1945, by Harris M. Lentz, (Routledge, 2014) p173
  9. ^ "Yen Assumes Premiership", Bridgeport (CT) Post, December 16, 1963, p10
  10. ^ "Documents: President Chiang Kai-shek's Inaugural Speech". Free China Review. 1 June 1966. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  11. ^ "Documents: President Chiang Kai-shek's inaugural address". Free China Review. 1 June 1972. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Vice President Yen in America". Free China Review. 1 June 1967. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  13. ^ David P. Nickles, ed. (2007). Memorandum of Conversation. Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976. Vol. 18 – via Office of the Historian.
  14. ^ "The month in Free China". Free China Review. 1 February 1975. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  15. ^ "嚴家淦檔案 防禦飛彈長安計畫解密曝光 | 政治 | 中央社 CNA". 2018-06-23. Archived from the original on 2018-06-23. Retrieved 2022-05-23.
  16. ^ News, Taiwan (2018-06-16). "Declassified archives show Taiwan's missile project in the '70s | Taiwan News | 2018-06-16 15:40:00". Taiwan News. Retrieved 2022-05-23. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  17. ^ 國際化,雙語編排,文化整合,全球華人的雜誌, 台灣光華雜誌 Taiwan Panorama |. "嚴總統訪沙 - 台灣光華雜誌". 台灣光華雜誌 Taiwan Panorama | 國際化,雙語編排,文化整合,全球華人的雜誌 (in Chinese). Retrieved 2022-05-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ a b "Ex-President Yen keeps cultural post". Free China Review. 1 September 1978. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  19. ^ "Yen Chia-kan Dead at 88, Succeeded Chiang Kai-shek as President". Associated Press News. 19 January 1994. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  20. ^ "C. K. Yen, 90, Is Dead; Ex-Leader of Taiwan". New York Times. 19 January 1994. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  21. ^ Chang, Yun-ping; Chuang, Jimmy (9 July 2004). "Generalissimo to be buried in Taiwan". Taipei Times. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
Political offices
Preceded by Economic Affairs Minister of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by Finance Minister of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by
position established
Minister of Vocational Assistance Commission for Retired Servicemen of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Taiwan Province
Succeeded by
Preceded by Finance Minister of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by Premier of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by Vice President of the Republic of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Republic of China
April 5, 1975–May 20, 1978
Succeeded by