Chen Shui-bian

Chen Shui-bian

biographical name

(born Feb. 18, 1951, Tainan county, Taiwan) President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from 2000 to 2008. Chen studied law at National Taiwan University and later became one of the island's leading attorneys. After unsuccessfully defending protesters who opposed the ruling Nationalist Party, he became linked with the opposition movement, and in the mid-1980s he was jailed on charges of libeling a Nationalist official. He subsequently joined the Democratic Progressive Party and became a prominent member of the movement to establish Taiwan's independence. He served in Taiwan's legislature (1989–94) before being elected mayor of Taipei in 1994. Although he did not win reelection in 1998, the loss freed him to run for president in 2000, and he defeated the Nationalist Party's candidate, ending that party's 55-year rule of Taiwan. In 2004 Chen was narrowly reelected, the vote coming one day after he and his running mate, Vice President Annette Lu (Lu Hsiu-lien), were shot and slightly wounded while campaigning in Tainan. Chen's second term was marred by corruption scandals. In 2009 he was convicted of corruption and sentenced to life in prison.

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