TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following his announcement Wednesday (May 13) that he would return to Academia Sinica after leaving office next week, Vice President Chen Chien-Jen (陳建仁) became the island nation's first vice president to give up his pension.
During a press conference at the Presidential Office Building Thursday afternoon (May 14), Chen was surprised by a thank you video from government officials, including President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), and Presidential Secretary General Chen Chu (陳菊).
Chen said that since the 2003 SARS pandemic, Taiwan's medical system has become one of the best in the world, adding that he would like to thank the entire Taiwanese population for presenting him with the best farewell gift: successfully pandemic prevention.
In a Facebook post Wednesday evening, Chen revealed that he had accepted an invitation from Academia Sinica to continue his research. He also emphasized that it was an absolute honor to have served the Taiwanese public over the last four years.
According to Article 3 of the Act of Courtesy for Former Presidents and Vice Presidents, all former vice presidents are eligible for up to NT$180,000 (US$6,020) per month as well as funds for secretaries, drivers, an office, and various activities.
Chen's return to the nation's premier academic institution would mean he has voluntarily given up all these benefits, making him the first Taiwanese vice president to ever do so, reported Liberty Times.
Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) told media that President Tsai has been informed about Chen's next step and has expressed high praise and appreciation for her partner. He said Tsai has also ensured Chen will continue to have a security detail and promised to include him in future government events and ceremonies, reported CNA.