Annette Lu

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Annette Lu
Lu Hsiu-lien
Annette Lu Portrait.jpg
Lu giving a speech at the 228 Memorial Park in 2008.
Vice President of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 2000 – 20 May 2008
PresidentChen Shui-bian
Preceded byLien Chan
Succeeded byVincent Siew
Magistrate of Taoyuan County
In office
28 March 1997 – 20 May 2000
Preceded byLiu Pang-yu
Liau Pen-yang (acting)
Succeeded byHsu Ying-shen (acting)
Eric Chu
Member of the Legislative Yuan
In office
1 February 1993 – 31 January 1996
ConstituencyTaoyuan County constituency
Personal details
Born (1944-06-07) June 7, 1944 (age 76)
Tōen Town, Shinchiku Prefecture, Japanese Taiwan (now Taoyuan District, Taoyuan City, Taiwan)
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Formosa Alliance (2018-present)
Democratic Progressive Party (1990–present)
Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg Kuomintang (1974–1978)
Alma materNational Taiwan University
University of Illinois
Harvard University
Annette Lu
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Annette Lu Hsiu-lien (Chinese: 呂秀蓮; pinyin: Lǚ Xiùlián; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lū Siù-liân; born 7 June 1944) is a Taiwanese politician. A feminist active in the tangwai movement, she joined the Democratic Progressive Party in 1990, and was elected to the Legislative Yuan in 1992. Subsequently, she served as Taoyuan County Magistrate between 1997 and 2000, and was the Vice President of the Republic of China from 2000 to 2008, under President Chen Shui-bian. Lu announced her intentions to run for the presidency on 6 March 2007, but withdrew to support eventual DPP nominee Frank Hsieh. Lu ran again in 2012, but withdrew for a second time, ceding the nomination to DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen.[1] She lost the party's Taipei mayoral nomination to Pasuya Yao in 2018, and stated that she would leave the party. However, by the time Lu announced in September 2019 that she would contest the 2020 presidential election on behalf of the Formosa Alliance, she was still a member of the Democratic Progressive Party.

Early life[edit]

Lu was born in Tōen Town (now Taoyuan City), in northern Taiwan, during Japanese rule. She has one older brother and three older sisters.[2]

After graduating from Taipei First Girls' High School, Lu 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[edit]

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 KMT membership,[3] 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, due to international pressure, coupled with the work of Ma Ying-jeou and Jerome A. Cohen, was released in 1985, after approximately five-and-a-half years in jail.[4][5]

Elected offices[edit]

Lu joined the Democratic Progressive Party in November 1990,[6] and was elected to the Legislative Yuan in 1992.[7][8] In 1997, she won an election to be the Magistrate of Taoyuan,[9][10] 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[11]
No. Party Candidate Votes Percentage
1 DPP Annette Lu 324,074 55.3% Vote1.svg
2 Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg KMT Fang Li-hsiu 216,325 36.9%
3 LogoCNP.svg 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[12] using a 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 24 November 2008 on the Chinese Television System.

Vice Presidency, 2000–2008[edit]

On 18 March 2000, Lu was elected vice president. She was awarded the World Peace Corps Mission's World Peace Prize in 2001.[13] 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, she said the KMT never thought they would transfer their regime to her on behalf of the freedom fighters.[clarification needed]

Summary of the 18 March 2000 Taiwan presidential election results
Political affiliation Candidate Votes
President Vice President Total votes Percentage
Democratic Progressive Party Chen Shui-bian Vote1.png Annette Lu 4,977,697 39.30%
Independent candidate icon (TW).svg Independent James Soong Chang Chau-hsiung 4,664,972 36.84%
Emblem of the Kuomintang.svg Kuomintang Lien Chan Vincent Siew 2,925,513 23.10%
Independent candidate icon (TW).svg Independent Hsu Hsin-liang Josephine Chu 79,429 0.63%
LogoCNP.svg 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

Lu was a contender for the 2008 presidential election; she announced her candidacy on March 6 and faced Yu Shyi-kun, Frank Hsieh, and Su Tseng-chang for the nomination. After receiving only 6.16% of the votes cast in the DPP primary, Lu withdrew from the race.[14][15]

Assassination attempt[edit]

On 19 March 2004, Lu was shot in the right kneecap while campaigning in 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.

Later political career[edit]

Lu announced in March 2018 that she would contest the Democratic Progressive Party mayoral primary for Taipei.[16] Soon after the DPP nominated Pasuya Yao as its candidate, Lu stated her intention to leave the party.[17][18]

She remained a DPP member through 2019, and announced in September 2019 that she would contest the 2020 presidential election on behalf of the Formosa Alliance, with Peng Pai-hsien as her running mate.[19][20] On 2 November 2019, Lu suspended her presidential campaign.[21][22]

Cross-strait relations[edit]

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. Her remarks have led state newspapers in mainland China to accuse her of provoking "animosity between the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits".[23] PRC state media has also labeled Lu as "insane" and a "scum of the earth".[citation needed]

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.[24] In mid-April 2013 speaking at George Washington University, Lu called for the DPP to have a better understanding about Mainland China because Taiwan's future depends on the development on the mainland. She stated that 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.[25]

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 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 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.[26]

Corruption charges and acquittal[edit]

On September 21, 2007, Lu, along with DPP chairman Yu Shyi-Kun and National Security Office secretary-general Mark Chen, were separately indicted on charges of corruption by the Supreme Prosecutor's Office of Taiwan.[27] Lu was accused of embezzlement and special fund abuse of about US$165,000.[27] On July 2, 2012, all three were acquitted of all charges.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-01. Retrieved 2011-04-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Ni, Ching-ching (30 May 2000). "A Sister's Rise and a Brother's Obsession". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  3. ^ "KMT: DPP heavyweights were once members". China Post. 3 March 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  4. ^ Emma Batha (19 May 2000). "Taiwan's top woman". BBC News. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
  5. ^ Stockman, Farah (3 July 2012). "How a Harvard rivalry changed Taiwan". Boston Globe. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  6. ^ Yeh, Su-ping; Liu, Kuan-lin (30 May 2018). "Former VP Lu says 'bye, bye' to DPP". Central News Agency. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  7. ^ Gargan, Edward A. (4 July 1994). "Taipei Journal; A Feminist's Work Is Never Done". New York Times.
  8. ^ Tang, Wen-hui Anna; Teng, Emma J. (May–June 2016). "Looking again at Taiwan's Lü Hsiu-lien: A female vice president or a feminist vice president?". Women's Studies International Forum. 56: 92–102. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2016.01.006.
  9. ^ "Special election set for Taoyuan magistrate". Taiwan Today. February 1997. Retrieved 1 June 2018.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Ruling Resumes". Taiwan Today. 1 May 2000. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  11. ^ "DPP celebrates landslide victory in Taoyuan County election". Taiwan Info. Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 21 March 1997. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  12. ^ Troy Parfitt (2008). Notes from the Other China: Adventures in Asia. Algora Publishing. pp. 59–. ISBN 978-0-87586-584-3.
  13. ^ Lu becomes first woman to win World Peace Prize TAIPEI TIMES. Monique Chu. [November 30, 2001]
  14. ^ "VP quits race for Taiwan presidency", Al Jazeera, 7 May 2007.
  15. ^ "Frank Hsieh Confirmed as DPP Standard Bearer", The China Post, 8 May 2007.
  16. ^ Yeh, Su-ping; Hsu, Elizabeth (7 March 2018). "Former VP Annette Lu announces bid for Taipei mayoral seat". Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  17. ^ Hsu, Stacy (1 June 2018). "Annette Lu bids DPP farewell after failed mayoral bid". Taipei Times. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  18. ^ Wu, Jui-chi; Chang, S. C. (31 May 2018). "Ex-VP Lu says DPP no longer has anything to do with her". Central News Agency. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  19. ^ Yeh, Su-ping; Wen, Kuei-hisang; Huang, Frances (17 September 2019). "Former Vice President Annette Lu enters presidential race". Central News Agency. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  20. ^ Wu, Chun-feng; Yang, Chun-hui; Chung, Jake (18 September 2019). "Ex-vice president Lu to run for president". Taipei Times. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  21. ^ Huang, Rei-hung; Ko, Lin (2 November 2019). "Former Taiwan vice president abandons presidential bid". Central News Agency. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  22. ^ Chen, Yun (3 November 2019). "Annette Lu withdraws presidential bid". Taipei Times. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  23. ^ "What Is Annette Lu Up To?", People's Daily, 4/17/00
  24. ^ Soft power lets Taiwan overcome poverty, survive despotism: Lu, Taiwan News, 18 February 2010.
  25. ^ "Ex-VP Lu slams DPP for overlooking China". The China Post. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  26. ^ "Lu warns on 'silent annexation' by China - Taipei Times". Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  27. ^ a b Jane Rickards (September 22, 2007). "Taiwan's Vice President, 2 Others Charged With Corruption". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  28. ^ Huang, Yi-han; Chen, Ann (July 2, 2012). "Former vice president found not guilty of special fund abuse". Central News Agency. Retrieved April 25, 2020.


External links[edit]

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 Democratic Progressive Party (acting)
Succeeded by
Yu Shyi-kun