Election Section

Taiwan’s first lady suffers exhaustion on last leg of U.S. tour

Laura Wides The Associated Press
Sunday September 29, 2002

LOS ANGELES — Taiwan’s first lady Wu Shu-jen has canceled three events on the last leg of her trip to the United States because of exhaustion, a spokesman said Friday. 

“Because of the long trip from Taiwan to Washington, to New York, to Los Angeles, she is a little bit exhausted,” said James Huang, her spokesman. 

The frail but outspoken Wu canceled trips to the Getty Museum and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library but still planned to attend a banquet on Friday night, where more than 1,000 Taiwanese-Americans hoped to meet her. 

The banquet was intended to show gratitude to the region’s Taiwanese-American community, the largest in the country, which has raised $1 million to help endow a new foundation promoting Taiwan’s image in this country. 

The first lady arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon and had intended to attend a Dodgers baseball game to honor the team’s Chin-Feng Chen, the first Taiwanese player in the major leagues. 

Instead, she was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for a checkup and then to her hotel, where she was in good condition under the care of her private doctors, Huang said. 

Wu’s 10-day visit marks the first time Taiwan’s first lady has visited the United States in nearly half a century. 

The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 when this country established relations with the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese government considers Taiwan a renegade province. 

President Chen Shui-bian, Wu’s husband, is Taiwan’s second democratically elected leader and the first to break the Nationalist Party’s grip on the island’s presidency. 

Wu uses a wheelchair and was paralyzed from the waist down when a truck ran over her three times in 1985 during Taiwan’s repressive martial era. She has said she believes she was the victim of a botched assassination attempt by the political rivals of her husband.