Beijing meddling with Wu’s trip ‘would enrage gods’

By Bruce Chu The China Post Staff

The Presidential Office confirmed yesterday that first lady Wu Shu-chen would attend the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens as the head of the Chinese Taipei delegation.

If Beijing tries to make things difficult for Wu as it often does with Taiwan’s participation in international activities, this would “enrage both men and the gods,” Deputy Secretary General to the President James C.F. Huang stressed. Wu’s plan to attend the Paralympic Games has been going well on the whole, Huang said, adding that it had run into only a few minor snags. He did not elaborate. Mainland China’s reaction has been a question ever since it was decided that Wu would travel with the Chinese Taipei delegation to the 2004 Paralympics. This trip will be another of Wu’s overseas journeys following her “cultural diplomacy tour” of Berlin and the Vatican last year.

Beijing’s attempt to oppress Taiwan internationally is “ubiquitous,” Huang contended. If it tries to oppress Taiwan even in a case like this, then it would incur the wrath of the gods as well as men, he added. President Chen has been both “happy and worried” that his wife will take the trip, Huang disclosed.

Wu, wheelchair-bound since she was hit by a truck in 1985, is weak physically, so leading a team to Athens will be a trial for her, Huang continued.

She wants to go because she intends to boost the Chinese Taipei team’s morale, Huang said. There are 20 athletes in the team, and they will compete in events including judo, track and field, marksmanship, and table tennis.

Wu has been concerned about the interests of the physically handicapped since she was injured, Huang said. She became the honorary chairman of the Chinese Taipei Paralympic Committee in 2000.

Wu is scheduled to set out on Sept. 12 and return home on Sept. 20. While in Athens, she will attend various activities sponsored by the International Paralympic Committee and meet with media people from other countries.

The Chinese Taipei team that competed in the 2000 Sydney Paralympics won one gold, two silver and four bronze medals, the best record ever.