Francisco Ou

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Francisco Ou
歐鴻鍊
File:Voa chinese taiwan Ou-Hung-lian-minister-of-MOFA 11june09.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 2008 – 10 September 2009
Deputy Andrew Hsia
Preceded by James C. F. Huang
Succeeded by Timothy Yang
Personal details
Born 5 January 1940 (1940-01-05) (age 78)
Hsinchu, Taiwan, Empire of Japan
Nationality  Republic of China
Alma mater National Chengchi University
Profession Diplomat

Francisco H.L. Ou (Chinese: 歐鴻鍊; pinyin: Oū Hóngliàn; born January 5, 1940) is a former diplomat, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China serving under President Ma Ying-Jeou from 2008-2009.

Early life

Ou was born in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and raised in Hualien. His father was arrested during the February 28 Incident in 1947. He and his family lived in poverty during his younger days. Ou received his BA from National Chengchi University in 1962.

Political career

Upon graduation, he then went on to serve in the government in several diplomatic capacities, mostly with Central and South American nations. He was also the Spanish interpreter for late President Chiang Kai-Shek and Chiang Ching-Kuo. Ou served as Embassy secretary to Peru (1967–71), ambassador to Nicaragua (1984–85) and Guatemala (1990–96, 2003-8). He has also been director of the Far East Commercial Office in Santiago, Chile (1975-1981), director of the Taiwan Commercial Office in Argentina (1986–90) and representative for the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Spain (2000–03).

ROC Foreign Ministry

Foreign ministry appointment

Ou had planned to retire after turning 65 and applied for permanent residency (‘green card’) in the United States of America. Although he had not expected to be tapped as Foreign Minister when Ma Ying-jeou formed his new government in 2008, Ou accepted Ma's offer. He immediately gave up his green card upon accepting his new post. His possession of a green card generated minor controversy in Taiwanese circles as many viewed the possession of extra-Taiwan status (citizenship or even a green card) as being unpatriotic. Ou, however, claimed that he was merely planning for his retirement, for most of his family members live in the US, and applied for a green card out of realistic thinking.

Foreign ministry resignation

Ou resigned from his post effective September 10, 2009, along with outgoing Premier Liu Chao-Shiuan and the rest of the Cabinet in a reshuffling of government, mostly due to the slow government response handling the Typhoon Morakot aftermath. He was replaced by Timothy Yang, formerly the Republic of China's representative to Indonesia.

Personal life

Ou is fluent in Taiwanese, Mandarin Chinese, English, French, and Spanish. He is also an avid table tennis player.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
James C. F. Huang
ROC Foreign Minister
2008-2009
Succeeded by
Timothy Yang