Lien is the eldest son of Lien Chan, a former chairman of the Kuomintang and former Vice President of the Republic of China. He earned a law degree at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan and a Master of Laws at Columbia University and Harvard University in the United States. After graduating from Columbia, he worked in the United States at Credit Suisse and joined Morgan Stanley in 1998. He became a member of the Central Standing Committee of the Kuomintang in 2005. In 2008, Lien was appointed as chairman of the Taipei Smart Card Corporation by Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin, and helped turned the company around. He resigned the chairmanship in 2010 due to health reasons.
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