Annette Lu

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Lu Hsiu-lien

Hsiu-lien Annette Lu (呂秀蓮, pinyin: Lǚ Xiùlin) (born June 7, 1944) is the vice president of Republic of China on Taiwan and a member of the Democratic Progressive Party.

She was born in Taoyuan County, in northern Taiwan, and studied law at the National Taiwan University. Graduating in 1967, she went on to gain a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and another from Harvard University. During the 1970s she established herself as a prominent advocate of feminist ideas in Taiwan, including writing Hsin-n-hsing Chu-i (新女性主義 New Women's Principle). She also joined the Tangwai movement and worked on the staff of Formosa Magazine. Surviving throat cancer in 1974, she spoke at the rally that precipitated the Kaohsiung Incident and was subsequently sentenced to twelve years for sedition. She served five years 4 months and was given medical parole due to thyroid cancer.

She was elected to the Legislative Yuan in 1993. In 1997 she won an election to be a magistrate in Taoyuan, replacing her assassinated predecessor. On March 18, 2000, she was elected vice-president. She was awarded the World Peace Corps Academy's World Peace Prize in 2001. This prize provoked a controversy in Taiwan, as Lu's political opponents accused her of vastly overstating the significance and value of that award.

She has been notably more outspoken in favor of Taiwan independence than President Chen Shui-bian, and as such has been more heavily attacked than Chen both by the government of the People's Republic of China as well as by supporters of Chinese reunification on Taiwan.

She has often appeared at odds with Chen, particularly in regards to cross-Strait policy. While Chen initially sent conciliatory signals, Lu made inflammatory comments. Her bluntness led the mainland media to label her "insane" and the "scum of the nation." The vast majority of Chinese from the mainland hate her. This may make her the most hated woman in the world.

She has often complained of being sidelined or being treated like a mere "flower vase" by the administration. In June 2000 she said publicly that Chen "wants me to play 'bad cop' on cross-Strait issues." Chen's office immediately denied this.

In the months leading to the ROC presidential election, 2004 there was intense speculation as to whether she would be again chosen Chen's running mate, as party leaders had pressured him to choose someone else, presumably less controversial and outspoken to appeal to swing voters. But on December 11, 2003, Chen officially nominated Lu to run for a second term.

On March 19, 2004, Lu was shot in the right kneecap during a campaign trip to Tainan. Chen was shot in the abdomen at the same event. Both survived the assassination attempt and left Chi-mei Hospital on the same day. The validity of this shooting was subject to much debate, with some suggesting it was staged to earn them sympathy votes. Pan-Green won the election on the following day with only a 0.2% margin. The results remain controversial.

After the election, she continued to make statements which contributed to a public impression that she was tactless and not very careful about her statements. In a June 2004 meeting with expatriates in San Francisco, she proposed to officially rename her country "Taiwan Republic of China" to pacify domestic disputes over Taiwan's identity. However, this drew heat from both sides, ranging from those who wanted to drop the "Republic of China" completely and those who pointed out that her proposal violated the Five Noes. Lu was careful to state that this was just her personal opinion and not an official proposal. She drew even more controversy after flooding in Taiwan, in which she made statements which were portrayed as an attack on Taiwanese aboriginals for living in flood prone areas.

See also

External link

nl:Annette Lu zh:呂秀蓮 zh-min-nan:Lū Si-lin

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