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President & vice president

President Lai
President Lai

Dr. Lai Ching-te was born in 1959 in New Taipei City’s Wanli District. The son of a coal miner, his upbringing and medical training in empirical logic have given him the ability to understand and identify with the popular will and find tailor-made solutions, the foundations of a unique governing style that inspires public trust.

After receiving a B.S. from National Taiwan University’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Lai completed the Post-Bachelor Program in Medical Science at National Cheng Kung University. He then obtained a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University, making him one of the few physicians in Taiwan with rehabilitation, clinical care, and public health expertise.

In 1994 when he was a chief resident at National Cheng Kung University Hospital and Taiwan was holding its first direct election for Taiwan provincial governor, Dr. Lai began his involvement in public affairs as the head of a Tainan physicians association supporting Chen Ting-nan (陳定南), the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate for governor.

During the 1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis, Dr. Lai decided to emulate his predecessors in the pursuit of democracy and gave up his medical career to enter politics. In the election for National Assembly representatives that year, he was the leading vote getter from Tainan City, and he set out on a historic mission to abolish the National Assembly.

In 1998, Dr. Lai was elected to the Legislative Yuan representing Tainan City. Leveraging his medical expertise, he played a dynamic role in the Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee while addressing over 100,000 local issues. Dr. Lai put equal emphasis on professional governance and solid service, and Tainan citizens showed their appreciation by electing him to the legislature for four consecutive terms (1999-2010).

During his legislative tenure, Dr. Lai was named “Best Legislator” by Citizen Congress Watch, demonstrated leadership and coordination skills as the DPP caucus whip, and led delegations to Japan and the United States to conduct parliamentary diplomacy. He chaired the legislature’s bipartisan Health, Welfare and Environment Foundation and was also part of a lobby group promoting Taiwan’s World Health Organization (WHO) membership, making seven trips to 22 countries including Korea, Japan, the United States, and European Union member states. In 2004, Dr. Lai was also chosen to participate in the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

In 2010, Tainan County and Tainan City were merged to form the Tainan Special Municipality. Dr. Lai was elected as the first mayor, building a reputation for honest, diligent, and efficient government that became known as the Tainan New Deal. Running for re-election in 2014, Dr. Lai garnered 72.9% of the vote, the highest percentage in Tainan history, and the highest for any county or city head since the lifting of martial law in 1987.

As mayor from 2010 to 2017, Dr. Lai also actively promoted city diplomacy, working closely with Japan’s government, National Diet, and private sector to promote exchanges and sister-city agreements, enhancing substantive ties in culture, tourism, sports, agriculture, and disaster relief. In 2014, he met with State Department and National Security Council officials responsible for Asia-Pacific affairs for topical discussions in Washington, DC.

In keynote speeches delivered in English at the Henry L. Stimson Center and Project 2049 Institute that same year, he cited the DPP’s achievements using the letters of the party’s English abbreviation: Democracy, Peace, and Prosperity. He was also invited by the Israeli government to attend the 2016 International Mayors Conference in Israel, and he was the only mayor representing an Asian city in attendance that year. In 2017, he visited Washington, DC once again to hold in-depth discussions with experts from well-known think tanks about the Indo-Pacific situation, US-China relations, and the international trade regime following the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Taking on new leadership responsibilities in troubling times, Dr. Lai served as Taiwan’s premier from 2017 to 2019. His practical, results-oriented Cabinet adopted five key policy goals, setting out to promote: Taiwanese culture, the Green Silicon Island and smart digital nation concepts, a just society, and national well-being. His term of office also saw solid progress in achieving his vision of providing peaceful lives and employment security, sustainability, and balanced development throughout Taiwan.

In May of 2019, Dr. Lai traveled to Japan to deliver a speech to the House of Representatives on Taiwan-Japan relations during the Reiwa reign of Japan’s new emperor Naruhito. He also held talks with dozens of parliamentarians and secretaries from various political parties, emphasizing that new international conditions make Taiwan-Japan cooperation under the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy essential.

In November of 2019, as the anti-extradition movement roiled Hong Kong, Taiwan was in a key strategic location in the first island chain defending Asian democracy. With democratic institutions threatened like never before, Dr. Lai accepted President Tsai Ing-wen’s invitation to be her vice-presidential running mate in the following year’s election. Working on the front lines to consolidate Taiwan’s democratic system, he campaigned for the DPP candidates island-wide and defended Taiwan’s democracy, helping President Tsai win re-election and the DPP retain a legislative majority. The Tsai-Lai ticket rode to victory with a record-high of 8.17 million votes.

In February 2020, Dr. Lai accepted an invitation to the 68th National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, becoming the highest-ranking official from Taiwan to attend since official diplomatic relations were severed 41 years ago while opening a new chapter in Taiwan-US relations. In May, Dr. Lai was officially sworn in as the 15th-term Vice President. 

In January 2023, Dr. Lai began concurrently serving as DPP chairperson. In the same year, he was announced as the DPP candidate for Taiwan’s 16th-term presidential election, and was successfully elected in January 2024. Dr. Lai’s presidency is the first to mark three consecutive terms of the same political party in office since Taiwan began holding direct presidential elections in 1996. He is also the first president to have served both as vice president and as a physician. Dr. Lai was officially sworn in as the 16th-term president in May.

2024-05-31 Nominates Chou Hung-hsien (周弘憲) and Hsu Shu-hsiang (許舒翔), as well as seven people, Chiau Wen-yan (邱文彥), Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基), Wang Hsiu-hung (王秀紅), Lu Chiu-hui (呂秋慧), Ker Li-ling (柯麗鈴), Huang Tong-yi (黃東益), and Iwan Nawi (伊萬.納威), as 14th-term Examination Yuan President, Vice President, and members, respectively and officially requests confirmation by the legislature.
2024-05-29 Meets with a bipartisan United States congressional delegation led by Senator Tammy Duckworth. In remarks, thanks the members of the delegation for contributing much to the deepening of Taiwan-US relations. States that thanks to their support, such legislation as the annual National Defense Authorization Act and the Indo-Pacific Security Supplemental Appropriations Act that was passed the previous month have included initiatives and resources related to Taiwan. Expresses hope that Taiwan and the US, through closer cooperation and exchanges, can contribute even more to regional prosperity and development.
2024-05-27 Meets with a bipartisan United States congressional delegation led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul. In remarks, states that the new administration will uphold the Four Commitments and actively implement the Four Pillars of Peace action plan, and that Taiwan will continue to deepen cooperation with the US and other like-minded countries. Expresses hope that Congress will continue to assist Taiwan in strengthening our self-defense capabilities through legislative action, and that the Taiwan-US double taxation issue will be resolved swiftly.
2024-05-23 Travels to Taoyuan to visit the ROC Marine Corps’ 66th Brigade for the first time in the capacity of commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Encourages the troops to persevere in their streamlined and diligent training, and achieve their mission objectives. States that he will continue to advance national defense reform, enhance overall combat capabilities, and ensure that our military personnel receive even better care, showing the world our determination to protect democratic Taiwan.
2024-05-22 Meets with delegations led by President Hilda C. Heine of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and her husband, Prime Minister Feleti Teo of Tuvalu and his wife, and Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre of Saint Lucia. Also meets with former President Dalia Grybauskaitė of the Republic of Lithuania, a delegation led by Prime Minister Geoffrey Hanley of Saint Christopher and Nevis, a delegation from the Republic of Somaliland to the presidential inauguration, a delegation from Singapore to the inauguration, and Republic of Haiti Ambassador Roudy Stanley Penn.
2024-05-21 Witnesses the signing of joint communiqués on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Palau and Saint Christopher and Nevis, as well as between Palau and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in anticipation of working together to support one another, and with the global democratic community, continuing to jointly safeguard democracy, freedom, and peace.
2024-05-21 Holds bilateral talks with King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Eswatini and witnesses the signing of a bilateral joint statement, a memorandum of understanding regarding the establishment of a digital commerce initiative, and a memorandum of cooperation between the central banks of Taiwan and Eswatini.
2024-05-21 Meets with delegations led by President Santiago Peña Palacios of the Republic of Paraguay, President Surangel S. Whipps, Jr. of the Republic of Palau and his wife, Prime Minister John Briceño of Belize, and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and his wife. Also meets with papal envoy and Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Charles John Brown, a delegation led by 70th United States Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, the United Kingdom Trade Envoy to Taiwan and a delegation from the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group to the presidential inauguration, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Ramiro Martínez of the Republic of Guatemala. In addition, meets with President Bernardo Arévalo of Guatemala via videoconference.
2024-05-20 Meets with Nippon Foundation Chairman Sasakawa Yohei, Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association President Tanizaki Yasuaki, a delegation from the United States to the presidential inauguration, wife of late Prime Minister Abe Shinzo of Japan Abe Akie, and a delegation from Canada to the inauguration. On the same day, hosts a luncheon for a Japanese Diet delegation to the inauguration with Vice President Bi-khim Hsiao.
2024-05-20 Sworn in as the 16th-term president of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and delivers an inaugural address. Together with Vice President Bi-khim Hsiao, receives congratulations from heads of state, special envoys, and high-ranking government officials of diplomatic allies and friendly nations.
President Lai
Vice President Hsiao
Presidents since 1947
Vice Presidents since 1947
Code Ver.:F201708221923 & F201708221923.cs
Code Ver.:201801051632 & 201801051632.cs