Chen Shui-bian

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Chen Shui-bian

(chŭn shwā-byän), 1951–, Taiwanese political leader, president of Taiwan (2000–2008). Born into poverty, he obtained his law degree from National Taiwan Univ. in 1975 and practiced as a maritime lawyer. During the 1980s he became involved in the dissident movement against the long-ruling KuomintangKuomintang
[Chin.,=national people's party] (KMT), Chinese and Taiwanese political party. Sung Chiao-jen organized the party in 1912, under the nominal leadership of Sun Yat-sen, to succeed the Revolutionary Alliance.
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 (KMT; Nationalist party), entering politics as a Taipei city councilor in 1981. In 1987 Chen joined the newly legalized opposition Democratic Progressive party (DPP), quickly becoming a leader of the group. He won a legislative seat in 1989 and later (1994–98) served as mayor of Taipei.

In 2000 he was elected president in a three-way race, succeeding Lee Teng-huiLee Teng-hui
, 1923–, Taiwanese agricultural economist and politician, president of Taiwan (1988–2000). Born in Taiwan when it was ruled by Japan, he was educated at Kyoto Imperial, Iowa State, and Cornell universities.
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 and ending more than 50 years of KMT rule. The DPP did not control the legislature, however, restricting Chen's ability to enact reforms. Chen had long called for Taiwan's formal independence from China, a step the mainland has said would lead to military action, but moderated his position prior to the campaign. The issue, nonetheless, remained a source of tension with China, as Chen has continued to support such a move during his terms president.

Chen was reelected in 2004; in the final days of the campaign he was wounded in an apparent assassination attempt that opposition leaders accused him of staging. In the second half of 2006 a series of corruption accusations and indictments against Chen and his family led KMT legislators to attempt to remove Chen from office three times, but each time the party failed to achieve the two-thirds vote required to do so. Chen resigned as DPP party leader in Jan., 2008, when the KMT won a landslide victory in the legislative elections. Beginning in Dec., 2008, after Chen had left office, he and his wife were indicted on corruption charges, and were convicted and sentenced on several corruption and other charges in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

References in periodicals archive ?
In Taiwan, from Lee Teng-hui to Chen Shui-bian, and in the United States, from Bill Clinton to George Bush, the policy shifts are interesting.
Taipei: Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian, jailed for corruption in 2009, has had his prison term extended by 18 months to 20 years due to a further bribery conviction.
Out of concerns for human rights and the public interest, Chen Shui-bian should be detained but he should also be allowed to receive visitors," the statement said.
Furthermore, many developments under the Chen Shui-bian administration have since caused serious strains in cross-strait relations,'' it said.
We, in the United States, see these risks clearly and trust they are well understood by President Chen Shui-bian and others in Taiwan.
Chen Shui-bian was shot in the stomach yesterday as he sat in a car during a rally in his hometown, Tainan.
The human chain comes ahead of the March 20 presidential elections and is being organised by supporters of President Chen Shui-bian, who leads a party that has angered China by campaigning for formal independence.
In November, Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian called for a national referendum for the Taiwanese people to decide whether they consider the ballistic missiles that Communist China is aiming at them to be a threat to their safety and security.
Ever the savvy politician, Taiwan's president Chen Shui-bian is working hard to keep his nation both separate from and united with mainland China.
But tensions over Taiwan could grow pricklier following the election victory by supporters of Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian, who has not come out in favor of reunification.
President Chen Shui-bian on Thursday met with opposition leader James Soong for the first time since taking office in May, as he moved to build bridges with the opposition camp following Prime Minister Tang Fei's resignation earlier this month.
Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian said he would review the country's ban on direct trade, travel and postal links with China calling them 'outdated, rigid and inflexible.