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Taiwan's first lady hailed for her U.S. tour

September 30, 2002 [Taipei] Wu Shu Jen, Taiwan’s first lady, was hailed today in Taipei for her successful trip to the U.S. President Chen Shui-bian called her trip a complete success and showed the spirit of Taiwan’s “softness overcoming the harshness.”

The first lady, who is paralyzed from an auto accident and travels by wheelchair, visited the U.S. from September 19 through 30. She was awarded a medal for democracy by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) based in Washington, D.C.

Because of enormous pressure from Beijing, most countries are not willing to invite Taiwan’s President for even an unofficial visit. Thus, this first lady’s trip is symbolic, but in many ways has been seen as an official visit to the U.S. In fact, when Europe’s Liberal Party issued an award to President Chen Shui-bian, Chen could not accept the award in person because no European country had the courage to send an invitation to Chen. The first lady, therefore, made a trip to the European Parliament to accept this award on behalf of Chen.

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