Taiwan's former Minister of Economic Affairs, and KMT leader Chiang Pin-kung has died

Chiang Pin-kung was taken to the hospital Saturday evening, before passing away Monday, Dec. 10

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Chiang Pin-kung

Chiang Pin-kung (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A former official tasked with managing cross strait ties, and a member of the KMT party, Chiang Pin-Kung (江丙坤), born in 1932, passed away on Dec. 10, according to a message from the KMT party.

Chiang is remembered for leading the first official recognized KMT delegation from Taiwan to China in 2005, since the end of hostilities with the Chinese Communists, although there had been numerous unofficial contacts between the party and government of Taiwan.

Chiang began his career in government as diplomatic staff of embassies and consulates in Japan and South Africa in the 1960's and 1970's, before taking leadership positions with the Board of Foreign Trade and the External Trade Development Council in the 1980's.

Chiang served as the Minister of Economic Affairs from 1993-1996, the Minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development from 1996 to 2000, and then as a legislator from 2002 to 2008.

After leaving the Legislative Yuan, he served a short period as acting KMT chairman in 2008, and then as Chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation from 2008 to 2012.

Chiang was reportedly taken to Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei on Saturday, Dec. 8 after he suddenly collapsed during dinner that evening. He regained consciousness, but remained in the hospital’s ICU, reports Straits Times.

He died of multiple organ failure, according to reports.