Frank Hsieh

Frank Hsieh
Siā Tiông-têng
Frank Hsieh on August 12, 2007
7th Chairperson of the DPP
In office
April 20, 2000 – July 21, 2002
Preceded by Lin Yi-hsiung
Succeeded by Chen Shui-bian
31st President of the Executive Yuan
In office
February 1, 2005 – January 25, 2006
President Chen Shui-bian
Preceded by Yu Shyi-kun
Succeeded by Su Tseng-chang
24th Mayor of Kaohsiung
In office
December 25, 1998 – February 1, 2005
Preceded by Wu Den-yih
Succeeded by Chen Chi-mai (Acting)
Personal details
Born May 18, 1946 (1946-05-18) (age 65)
Dadaocheng, Taiwan
Political party Democratic Progressive Party
Spouse(s) Yu Fang-chih
Alma mater National Taiwan University
Kyoto University
Occupation Politician
Profession Lawyer
Religion Taoist[1]

Frank Hsieh Chang-ting (traditional Chinese: 謝長廷; simplified Chinese: 谢长廷; pinyin: Xiè Chángtíng; Wade-Giles: Hsieh Ch'ang T'ing; Pe̍h-oē-jī: Siā Tiông-têng or Chiā Tiông-têng; born May 18, 1946 in Tataocheng, Taipei, Taiwan) is a Taiwanese politician of the Democratic Progressive Party in the Republic of China. He was the mayor of Kaohsiung City until his appointment as President of the Executive Yuan by president Chen Shui-bian on February 1, 2005. He announced his resignation from the post of premier on January 17, 2006. Hsieh was the DPP nominee in the 2008 presidential election and was defeated by Ma Ying-jeou.


Early life

Hsieh received his Bachelor of Laws degree from National Taiwan University. He also received a Master degree and then completed all Doctoral coursework (i.e. All But Dissertation) in jurisprudence from Kyoto University. He was a practicing attorney from 1969 to 1981, serving as a defense attorney in the martial courts following the Kaohsiung Incident of 1980.

Hsieh is married to Yu Fang-chih (游芳枝); together, they have a daughter and an adopted son.

Rise in politics

Hsieh was one of the founding members of the Democratic Progressive Party, was the one who proposed its current name, and served as its chairman from June 2000 to 2002. A two-time Taipei City councilor from 1981 to 1988, and a member of the Legislative Yuan from 1989 to 1995, Hsieh ran in the 1996 presidential as a vice-presidential candidate with Peng Ming-min on the DPP ticket. They finished second with 21.1% of the vote. In a dramatic comeback to the surprise of many observers, Hsieh defeated the Kuomintang incumbent and won the Kaohsiung City mayoral election in 1998. He was re-elected again for a four-year term in 2002.

Kaohsiung mayoralty

In December 1998, Hsieh was elected the mayor of Kaohsiung City. His administration focused on improving water qualities in surrounding rivers (the most reputable of which included the Love River) as well as a general overhaul of the port of Kaohsiung. He was also largely responsible for the establishment of Kaohsiung MRT. After a slow start, Hsieh's performance as mayor began to consistently receive high approval rates and became a leading political figure in Southern Taiwan, DPP's political base.

Premiership and aftermath

In February 2005, Hsieh was appointed premier, forcing him to leave his post as mayor of Kaohsiung, where Chen Chi-mai, a leading member of then President Chen's faction, succeeded him as acting mayor.

Hsieh was forced to resign as premier in the aftermath of the 2005 "Three-in-One" elections in which the KMT defeated the DPP in a landslide.

As the DPP candidate for the 2006 Taipei Mayoral election, Hsieh lost the race to KMT candidate Hau Lung-pin by 166,216 votes (12.92%). Hsieh earned significant goodwill from within the DPP in this campaign because Taipei City was considered an almost unbreakable KMT stronghold and most major DPP politicians passed on the offer to run, so Hsieh's candidacy amounted to "take one for the team".

In February 2007, he led the Taiwanese delegation to the 55th annual United States National Prayer Breakfast[2] in Washington DC, hosted by US Congressional Committee with dignitaries including President George W. Bush.

2008 presidential campaign

Hsieh was frequently considered to be a leading contender for the DPP nomination in the 2008 presidential election, and formally announced his intention to run in the election on February 16. Hsieh was the second to formally announce candidacy after former-KMT chairman Ma Ying-Jeou, and the first from the Democratic Progressive Party. He won 45% of the DPP primary votes[3] and won the nomination, after the pending straw poll to be conducted May 9–11 was cancelled after his three primary opponents all conceded defeat.[4] In July 2007, Frank Hsieh went on a trip to the United States called the trip of "Love and Trust" (「愛與信任」之旅).[5] In September 2007, Hsieh openly declared that he was running for the presidency of the State of Taiwan (台灣國), saying that "recogniz[ing] ourselves (the Taiwanese people) as a nation first and then fight[ing] for what we want during negotiations with other countries" is important.[6]

2008 presidential campaign logo

Hsieh has been granted many Taiwanese aboriginal names by many indigenous tribe leaders during his visits to the tribes, such as Tin Kei in Amis, V'oyu in Tsou, Hayung in Atayal, and Shaman Manida in Tao.[7]

Regarding Ma Ying-jeou's idea of a "cross-strait common market," Hsieh states that if Taiwan only focuses on the economy, it will end up like Hong Kong and Macau, whose only goal in life is to make money.[8] Hsieh believes that improving the economy is as important as preserving national dignity, and that the goal of economic development is more than just making money, but it is also improving the happiness of people.

Following the DPP's poor performance in the 2008 Legislative election, Hsieh replaced Chen Shui-bian as chairman of the DPP.

In January 2008, Hsieh accused candidate Ma Ying-Jeou of having a United States green card. After investigations, it was revealed that one of Ma's sisters and one of his two daughters are both US citizens. Hsieh also publicly expressed that if Ma shows him the official document of his withdrawal of the green card, Hsieh would withdraw from the election.[9]

On March 22, 2008, Hsieh lost to the Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou, ending eight years of DPP rule. Hsieh had 5,445,239 votes, 41.55%; against Ma's 7,658,724, 58.45%.

The election was devastating to Hsieh and the DPP because he lost by a wider-than-expected margin of 17%. Hsieh had stated that if he lost this election, he would not run for office again.[citation needed] He resigned from the DPP chairmanship to take responsibility for the defeat. Tsai Ing-wen was elected as the new chairperson of the DPP.

In July 2010, Hsieh stood for the DPP's central committee standing membership election and won. He subsequently became a de facto manager of DPP's Taichung mayoralty campaign.

See also

  • Politics of Taiwan


External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Wu Den-yih
Mayor of Kaohsiung
1998 – 2005
Succeeded by
Chen Chi-mai
Preceded by
Yu Shyi-kun
President of the Executive Yuan
2005 – 2006
Succeeded by
Su Tseng-chang
Party political offices
Preceded by
Lin Yi-hsiung
Chairperson of the DPP
Succeeded by
Chen Shui-bian
Preceded by
Chen Shui-bian
Chairperson of the DPP

Succeeded by
Tsai Ing-wen

{{Navbox |name = Kaohsiung mayors |title = Mayors of Kaohsiung |image =

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