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Annette Lu

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Annette Lu

Annette Lu
Lü Hsiu-lien
Vice President of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 2000 – 20 May 2008
President Chen Shui-bian
Preceded by Lien Chan
Succeeded by Vincent Siew
Magistrate of Taoyuan County
In office
28 March 1997 – 20 May 2000
Preceded by Liu Pang-yu
Liau Pen-yang (acting)
Succeeded by Hsu Ying-shen (acting)
Eric Chu
Member of the Legislative Yuan
In office
1 February 1993 – 31 January 1996
Constituency Taoyuan County constituency
Personal details
Born (1944-06-07) June 7, 1944
Taoyuan (now Taoyuan District), Formosa, Annexed dependency of Empire of Japan
Nationality  Taiwan
Political party Democratic Progressive Party
Alma mater National Taiwan University
University of Illinois
Harvard University
Occupation Politician
Profession Lawyer
Annette Lu
Traditional Chinese 呂秀蓮
Simplified Chinese 吕秀莲

Annette Lu Hsiu-lien (traditional Chinese: 呂秀蓮; simplified Chinese: 吕秀莲; pinyin: Lǚ Xiùlián; born June 7, 1944) was the Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from 2000 to 2008, under President Chen Shui-bian. She announced her intentions to run for President of Taiwan on March 6, 2007, but withdrew in order to support DPP presidential nominee, Frank Hsieh. Lu announced on February 25, 2011, that she would seek the DPP nomination for President of the Republic of China in 2012, but later withdrew her bid. Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the DPP, finally won the nomination.[1] Lu is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party and one of Taiwan's independence advocates. Lu is also a prominent feminist activist.


  • Early life 1
  • Rise in politics 2
    • Elected Offices 2.1
  • Novel 3
  • Vice Presidency, 2000–2008 4
    • Assassination attempt 4.1
  • Cross-strait relations 5
  • Alleged charges 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
    • Notes 8.1
    • Bibliography 8.2
  • External links 9

Early life

Lu was born in Taoyuan County (now Taoyuan City), in northern Taiwan, during Japanese rule. After graduating from Taipei First Girls' High School, she studied law at the National Taiwan University. Graduating in 1967, she went on to gain a Master of Laws from both the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (in comparative law, 1971) and Harvard University (1978).

Rise in politics

During the 1970s, Lu established herself as a prominent feminist advocate in Taiwan, which included writing of New Feminism or Xin Nüxing Zhuyi (新女性主義). She renounced her prior KMT membership, also joined the Tangwai movement, and worked on the staff of Formosa Magazine. Lu then became increasingly active in the tang-wai, the opposition movement calling for democracy and an end to authoritarian rule. In 1979 she delivered a 20-minute speech criticizing the government at an International Human Rights Day rally that later became known as the "Kaohsiung Incident." Following this rally, virtually the entire leadership of Taiwan's democracy movement, including Lu, was imprisoned. She was tried, found guilty of violent sedition, and sentenced by a military court to 12 years in prison. She was named by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience, and partly due to international pressure was released in 1985, after approximately five-and-a-half years in jail.[2]

Due to the male-dominated culture and combative nature of Taiwan politics, Lu, like several other female politicians subsequently, was nicknamed a "small chili pepper."

Elected Offices

She was elected to the Legislative Yuan in 1993. In 1997, she won an election to be the Magistrate of Taoyuan, a post she held until Chen Shui-bian selected her as his running mate in the 2000 presidential elections.

15 March 1997 Taoyuan County Magistrate Special By-Election Result[3]
No. Party Candidate Votes Percentage
1 DPP Annette Lu 324,074 55.3%
2 KMT Fang Li-hsiu 216,325 36.9%
3 New Party Lai Lai-kun 45,526 7.8%
Total 594,529 58.77% voter turnout


Lu completed her novel entitled "These Three Women" while in prison. To evade the surveillance of the detention facility, she wrote part of the novel on toilet paper using washbasin as a desk. In 2008, the novel was adapted into a screenplay for TV drama of the same name. The drama was broadcast on November 24, 2008 on the Chinese Television System.

Vice Presidency, 2000–2008

On March 18, 2000, Lu was elected vice president. She was awarded the World Peace Corps Mission's World Peace Prize in 2001. Controversy erupted over this in Taiwan, with Lu's political opponents accusing her of vastly overstating the significance and value of that award. She was also the ROC's first elected vice president to adopt a Western first name. In her interview with TIME Asia Magazine, Lu said that the KMT never thought that they will transfer their regime to her on behalf of the freedom fighters.

2000 Republic of China presidential election Result
Political affiliation Candidate Votes
President Vice President Total votes Percentage
Democratic Progressive Party Chen Shui-bian Annette Lu 4,977,737 39.3%
Independent James Soong Chang Chau-hsiung 4,664,932 36.8%
Kuomintang Lien Chan Vincent Siew 2,925,513 23.1%
Independent Hsu Hsin-liang Josephine Chu 79,429 0.63%
New Party Li Ao Elmer Fung 16,782 0.13%
Total 12,786,671 82.69% voter turnout
Valid votes 12,664,393
Invalid votes 122,278

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 voters. But on December 11, 2003, Chen officially nominated Lu to run for a second term as he could not find a suitable partner.And he said that he respects Lu's academic background and probably she is the only one who is suitable to be Chen's running mate.

 Summary of the 20 March 2004 Republic of China presidential election results
Candidates and nominating parties Votes % Votes
before recount
Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu Hsiu-lien
6,446,900 50.11 6,471,970
Lien Chan and James Soong Chu-yu
6,423,906 49.89 6,442,452
Total (turnout 80.28 %) 12,914,422 100.0
Invalid votes 337,297
Votes cast 13,251,719

Lu was a contender for the 2008 presidential election; she announced her candidacy on March 6 and faced Yu Shyi-Kun (former DPP chairman and executive premier), Frank Hsieh (former DPP chairman, former premier, former Kaohsiung mayor), and Su Tseng-Chang (former DPP chair, former premier) for the nomination. After receiving only 6.16% of the votes cast in the DPP primary, Lu withdrew from the race.[4][5]

Assassination attempt

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 shooting and left Chi-mei Hospital on the same day. The Pan-Blue Coalition suggested that the shooting was not an assassination attempt but that it was staged to a self-inflicted wound in order to gain sympathy votes. The Chen/Lu ticket won the election on the following day with a 0.228% margin, a figure significant to those who related it to the assassination incident.

After the election, she continued to make statements which contributed to a public impression that she was a political chatter box. 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 more controversy after flooding in Taiwan, in which she made statements which were portrayed as an attack on native Taiwanese living in flood prone areas.

Unlike her running mate she was never implicated in money laundering and is considered to be an honest politician.

Cross-strait relations

In terms of Cross-Strait relations with China, Lu has been 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.

She often appears at odds with Chen, particularly with regard to cross-Strait policy and relations. While Chen initially sent conciliatory signals, Lu consistently made inflammatory comments to the media. Her confrontational remarks have led state newspapers in mainland China to accuse her of provoking "animosity between the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits".[6] PRC state media has also labeled Lu as "insane" and a "scum of the earth".

In 2010 Lu visited South Korea and advocated Taiwan's use of what she called "soft power," meaning peaceful economic and political development, as a model for the resolution of international conflicts.[7]

In mid April 2013 speaking at cross-strait relations should be defined as not only a distant relative, but also a near neighbor. And she stressed that there should be no hatred nor war between Taiwan and Mainland China, and both side should pursue peaceful coexistence, industrial cooperation and cultural exchanges.[8]

Speaking at the founding ceremony of Anti-One China Principle Union in Taipei on 29 April 2013, Lu warned on silent annexation of Taiwan into China since the introduction of Anti-Secession Law in 2005 and the gradual erosion of Taiwan's sovereignty. However, she said that Taiwan doesn't oppose that there is one China in the world, but Taiwan is not part of China. She criticized ROC President Ma Ying-jeou for making Taiwan becomes more and more dependent on China. She even reiterated her 1996 Consensus consensus to oppose Kuomintang's 1992 Consensus in dealing with the PRC, in which she said Taiwan has been an independent sovereign country after the 1996 ROC presidential election.[9]

Alleged charges

On September 21, 2007, Vice President Lu was indicted on charges of corruption by the Supreme Prosecutor's Office of Taiwan. Lu faces charges of embezzlement and of using false receipts to write-off expenses totalling over US$165,000 from a special governmental account. Yu Shyi-Kun was also indicted on the same day and immediately resigned his chairmanship of the Democratic Progressive Party, he promised he would resign if indicted. On the same day, DPP member and National Security Office Secretary-General Mark Chen was also indicted on corruption charges.[10]

See also



  1. ^
  2. ^ Emma Batha (19 May 2000). "Taiwan's top woman".  
  3. ^ "DPP celebrates landslide victory in Taoyuan County election". Taiwan Info. Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 21 March 1997. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "VP quits race for Taiwan presidency", Al Jazeera May 7, 2007
  5. ^ "Frank Hsieh Confirmed as DPP Standard Bearer", The China Post May 8, 2007
  6. ^ "What Is Annette Lu Up To?", People's Daily, 4/17/00
  7. ^ Soft power lets Taiwan overcome poverty, survive despotism: Lu, Taiwan News, February 18, 2010
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Jane Richards (22 September 2007). "Taiwan's Vice President, 2 Others Charged With Corruption". Asia/Pacific ( 


  • Lu, Hsiu-Lien; Esarey, Ashley (2014). My Fight for a New Taiwan: One Woman's Journey from Prison to Power. Seattle, Washington: University of Washington Press.  

External links

  • Vice President Lu's Remarks of Appreciation for the 2001 World Peace Prize
  • Government Information Office of the Republic of China, Official Biography 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006
Government offices
Preceded by
Liau Pen-yang
Magistrate of Taoyuan County
Succeeded by
Hsu Ying-shen
Preceded by
Lien Chan
Vice President of the ROC
Succeeded by
Vincent Siew
Party political offices
Preceded by
Su Tseng-chang
Chairperson of the DPP (acting)
Succeeded by
Yu Shyi-kun
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