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
, 1923–2020, 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.

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References in periodicals archive ?
Chen Shui-bian, 62, was the island's president from 2000-2008 and is serving a sentence for corruption offences.
Taipei: Former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian tried to kill himself in a prison bathroom with a towel but was discovered by wardens in time, the island's Justice Ministry said on Monday.
The KMT got a boost from a shooting incident on the eve of the elections, strikingly similar to the incident that helped Chen Shui-bian win the presidency in 2004.
Taiwan's High Court on Friday reduced the life sentence of former president Chen Shui-bian, a fiery advocate of the island's independence from China, to 20 years on graft and money-laundering charges, according to Reuters.
TAIPEI: A Taiwan court imposed a life sentence on former President Chen Shui-bian after convicting him of corruption Friday, marking a watershed in the island's turbulent political history.AaA strong advocate of Taiwanese independence, Chen was hated by China, which claims the island, and despised by the long-dominant Nationalist Party, which called his pro-independence policies dangerous and misguided.Aa
On July 13, the Taipei court ordered Chen Shui-bian to be detained for another two months while his case continues.
Chen Shui-bian, Taiwan's former president currently on trial for corruption, is facing fresh graft charges.
Taiwan's ex-president Chen Shui-bian was taken into custody after being accused of sending millions of dollars to overseas bank accounts while Chen was president.
Former President Chen Shui-bian, who faces multiple graft investigations, has vowed to join the events, likely boosting attendance.
Summary: Taiwan has opened a trade office in Libya, two years after President Chen Shui-bian made a surprise visit to the oil-rich country which outraged rival China.
TAIWAN President Chen Shui-bian has said that the United States is caving in to Chinese pressure and disregarding democratic values by opposing the island's referendum on its attempt to join the UN.
Soong asserted in a May 11, 2005, speech at Beijing's Qinghua University that independence was not an option for Taiwan's future, a comment that many of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's staunchest supporters criticized.