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Yen Chia-kan; Former Taiwan President

January 20, 1994

Yen Chia-kan, 88, president of Taiwan from 1975 to 1978. Born in central mainland China, Yen fled the 1949 Communist takeover and helped Chiang Kai-shek set up the Nationalist Chinese government in Taiwan. Yen served as President Chiang's economic minister, finance minister, premier and vice president. As the economic policy-maker in the 1950s and 1960s, Yen was largely credited with moving the island from poverty to flourishing global manufacturing center. When Chiang died in 1975, Yen was vice president and succeeded him, completing the remaining three years in Chiang's term and stepping aside in favor of Chiang's son, Chiang Ching-kuo. On Dec. 24 in Taipei of heart failure.

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