I wouldn’t marry Chen in new life: first lady

The China Post staff

First lady Wu Shu-chen yesterday said she was no exception to most Taiwan investors who recently experienced serious losses in the stock market, and said that she would not marry the president in another life if he remained devoted to politics. “Chen has hardly eaten dinner at home during the past decade. If there is another life, I want Chen Shui-bian to choose between politics and me. I would not marry him if he makes me wheelchair-bound again,” Wu quipped during a symposium with the public. The event, sponsored by a local company, attracted dozens of citizens to chat and take pictures with the first lady. Wu has been paralyzed from the chest down since she was hit and repeatedly run over by a truck in 1986 while Chen was campaigning in Tainan. The attack was widely believed to be politically motivated. When asked about the plummeting stock market, Wu admitted that she had invested tens of millions of NT dollars in local stocks, and “all of them have been in a jam.” But Wu said she did not track the ups-and-downs of her assets, since she had no intention of being a short-term investor. She also denied rumors that she had dinner with Finance Minister Yen Ching-chang in a bid to intervene in the nation’s financial policies. “How could I possibly eat with Yen since I have never met him and did not even know how he looks like,” she said. “I am not an expert in stock market policies. The decision must be made by the president and the government’s financial team,” she said. As for her two children, Wu said they were still struggling to adapt to their roles as first family members. The first couple’s daughter, 23-year-old Chen Hsing-yu, earlier received a phone call threatening to shoot her, Wu said. “So, when Hsing-yu went out with friends one night, the president was so worried that he picked her up himself,” she recalled. The couple’s other child, Chen Chih-chung, is now a sophomore at National Taiwan University’s law school — the same school his father went to. Wu said she was glad that her son had enrolled in the prestigious university through examination instead of recommendation or interview, so that he could avoid speculation that he was admitted to the school because of his father’s influence. When asked about ideal qualities of her future son-in-law and daughter-in-law, Wu said she would not expect them to be rich or have a prominent background, as long as they had good characters. “Both my children have grown up. It is natural for them to date. I don’t think they have to marry someone with an immense fortune,” she said. Wu, daughter of a south Taiwan aristocrat, left home and married Chen Shui-bian, son of a utterly destitute family, against her father’s will in her early twenties. “But I would not say that I am a good example for my children to imitate,” she added.