Koo Chen-fu

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Koo Chen-fu
辜振甫
Chairman of Straits Exchange Foundation
In office
21 November 1990[1] – 3 January 2005
Deputy Johnnason Liu
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Johnnason Liu (acting)
Chang Chun-hsiung
Personal details
Born (1917-01-06)6 January 1917
Taichung, Taiwan, Empire of Japan
Died 3 January 2005(2005-01-03) (aged 87)
Taipei, Taiwan
Nationality  Republic of China
Alma mater Taihoku Imperial University

Koo Chen-fu (Chinese: 辜振甫; pinyin: Gū Zhènfǔ, 6 January 1917 – 3 January 2005) was a Taiwanese businessman and diplomat. He led the Koos Group of companies from 1940 until his death. As a chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), Koo arranged the first direct talks between Taiwan and China since 1949 and served as Taiwan's negotiator in both the 1993 and 1998 Wang-Koo summit.

He was also a film producer and produced a number of Taiwanese films between 1973 and 1982, such as Love, Love, Love (1974), Eight Hundred Heroes (1975), Heroes of the Eastern Skies (1977), and Attack Force Z (1982).[2]

Early life

Born in northern Taiwan into a wealthy family headed by his father Koo Hsien-jung, Koo attended Taihoku Imperial University (now National Taiwan University). He inherited a substantial fortune and a business when his father Koo Hsien-jung died in 1937 while Koo was only a sophomore. Koo graduated in 1940 and pursued a graduate degree in Japan.

Koo was jailed in 1946 for 19 months on treason charges for helping Japanese. After his release, he took refuge in Hong Kong and only returned to Taiwan in 1949 to marry his wife, Cecilia Koo. He focused on running Koos Group as well as on his political career that led to his elevation to the central committee of Kuomintang.

SEF Chairmanship

Koo became chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) in 1991. On 16 December 1991, a little over ten months after the establishment of the SEF, the authorities of People's Republic of China (PRC) set up the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), with Wang Daohan as its chairman. The following year Koo and Wang held preliminary talks in Hong Kong that resulted in the so-called "1992 Consensus" and facilitated negotiations of practical matters. However, the content and the existence of this "1992 consensus" is widely disputed. In 2001, Koo publicly affirmed that the meeting did not result in a consensus on the issue of "one-China." In April 1993, Koo and Wang met in Singapore to hold the first formal discussions between Taipei and Beijing since 1949. The two met again in Shanghai in 1998. On 18 October 1998, Koo met PRC President Jiang Zemin in Beijing, in what was then the highest-level talks yet held between the two sides. The talks were called off by Beijing in 1999 after ROC President Lee Teng-hui proposed his two-states theory.

Death

Koo Chen-fu died of renal cancer on the morning of 3 January 2005 at the age of 87.

References

  1. "SEF Milestones". Straits Exchange Foundation. Retrieved 22 December 2014. November 21, 1990: The Board of Directors and Supervisory Board hold their first meetings. The boards approve the "Donation and Organization Articles of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF)" and elect Koo Chen-fu as chairman and Sun Yun-suan as honorary chairman.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Koo Chen-fu at the Hong Kong Movie DataBase

External links

Political offices
New title President of the Straits Exchange Foundation
1990–2005
Succeeded by
Chang Chun-hsiung