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Yen Chia-kan Dead at 88, Succeeded Chiang Kai-shek as President

January 19, 1994

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Yen Chia-kan, who powered Taiwan’s economic miracle and succeeded founding father Chiang Kai-shek as president, died of heart failure on Christmas Eve and will be buried Saturday, the government said. He was 88.

Yen had been hospitalized for the past seven years following a brain hemorrhage.

Born in Jiangsu Province in central China on Oct. 23, 1905, Yen was among the mainlanders who, like Chiang Kai-shek, fled the 1949 Communist takeover and set up a rival Chinese government in Taiwan.

He served President Chiang as economic minister, finance minister, premier and vice president. As an economic policy maker in the 1950s and ’60s, Yen was credited with a big part in transforming the impoverished island into a global manufacturing force.

Chiang was widely believed to have chosen Yen as an interim successor because he could be trusted not to obstruct the eventual rise of Chiang’s son and heir, Chiang Ching-kuo.

Chiang Kai-shek died in 1975 and Yen served out his term until 1978, when Chiang Ching-kuo took over.

Yen was survived by his wife, five sons and four daughters.