LOS ANGELES -- Sun Yun-suan, who directed Taiwan's rapid economic development in the late 1960s and 1970s and helped to make the island a model for other industrializing nations, has died. He was 92.
Mr. Sun died Wednesday of septic shock at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was admitted to the facility last month after experiencing breathing difficulties. He eventually went through acute heart and lung failure.
As premier from 1978 to 1984, Mr. Sun was widely credited with transforming Taiwan's first export boom -- textiles, shoes, and plastic toys in the 1960s -- into sustained economic growth in such new export industries as petrochemicals, machine tools, and electronics.
One of his major achievements was the planning and completion of 10 major development projects, including Taiwan's first nuclear power plant, a major steel mill and shipyard, a large petrochemical complex, and new railroads, highways, and seaports. These infrastructure improvements helped Taiwan survive a recession in the mid-1970s and became the foundation for later economic growth.
In 1980, Mr. Sun launched a second development project that included projects in culture, education, and social welfare, as well as more nuclear power plants, railways, and new towns.
Born in Shandong province on the Chinese mainland, Mr. Sun was trained as an electrical engineer in Manchuria in northeast China in the 1930s. After a number of government jobs, he received training at the
From 1946 to 1964, he worked for Taiwan's electric utility, rising from senior engineer to president. He then worked for three years as chief executive officer and general manager of the Electricity Corp. of Nigeria, shortly after the African country became independent. He returned to Taiwan in 1967 to become minister of communications, and, two years later, minister of economic affairs. For a decade after that, Mr. Sun was Taiwan's minister of economic affairs and of communications.
He left government in 1984 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. In his later years, he served in the symbolic role of presidential adviser.