President, Legislative Yuan
Date of Birth: 17/03/1941
Place of Birth: Luju Township, Kaohsiung
Since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008, Taiwan has taken a low-key approach to international affairs in order to assuage China. For Taiwan's remaining African allies - Burkina Faso, Gambia, São Tomé e Príncipe and Swaziland - this has meant few high-level visits and a levelling-off of Taipei's already modest aid programme.
China and Taiwan signed a landmark trade agreement on 29 June and Ma may now be more confident. He has dispatched Wang Jin-pyng, Speaker of Taiwan's legislature, to Gambia's Revolution Day celebrations, which commemorate the 22 July 1994 coup that brought Yahya Jammeh to power and eventually resulted in diplomatic recognition for Taipei. Wang will be joined by Foreign Affairs Vice-Minister Shen Ssu-tsun and Director-General of African Affairs Chen Shih-liang.
Wang is an influential figure who delivers southern votes for the ruling Kuomintang (KMT). Born in 1941 in Lu-ju, Wang won a bachelor's degree in mathematics from National Normal University. After military service, he returned south to work in the family food factory in Kaohsiung. In 1975, he co-founded the Kaohsiung Industrial Association and built a network of business leaders that would yield benefits the following year when he made his first run for a legislative seat. He served as Vice-Speaker of the Legislative Yuan (1993-99) and has been Speaker ever since.
In 1990, he was elected Vice-Chairman of the KMT Policy Committee and joined the Central Standing Committee in 1992. He became party Vice-Chairman in 2000, a post he held until 2005 when he lost a bid for the KMT chairmanship to Ma.