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Li Kwoh-ting; Drove Taiwan's Advances in High-Tech Industry

June 05, 2001

Li Kwoh-ting, 91, the architect of Taiwan's successful move into the high-tech industry, died Thursday in Taipei of complications of a brain hemorrhage.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Li and other economists helped craft a policy that attracted entrepreneurs in the high-tech industry and provided government funding to electronics companies. The policy helped Taiwan, which had been a poor agrarian society, quickly become a leading producer of computer parts.

Li served as economics minister in 1965-69 and as finance minister in 1969-76. He also was a minister without portfolio in 1976-88. He also was a senior advisor to President Chen Shui-bian.

Born in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, he studied engineering, economics and law at the National Central University and later at Cambridge. Li fled to Taiwan in 1949 with the Nationalist Party, which lost a civil war to the Communist Party.

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