In the face of vitriolic attacks against her from both within Taiwan and from Beijing, Vice President-elect Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) voiced a strong protest yesterday against what she said was unfair and discriminatory treatment at the hands of her detractors.
"I was elected by nearly five million voters to be the vice president of this country, along with the President-elect Chen Shui-bian (
Since the election, however, everyone has reminded me that the vice president is powerless, workless, and voiceless," Lu said in a speech to a crowd of young overseas Chinese yesterday.
"Chen himself has a very high regard for women, but it is a different case for those around him, who have been very unfriendly to me," Lu said.
"Beijing has used the most ugly words on earth to attack me. And most of our media castigated me as a `deserted concubine left in the harem of despair (
Lu herself had made the reference on Wednesday during a visit to the legislature.
"I just wonder if there is any value in downgrading the country's vice president to such an extent?" Lu said.
Lu, who made a name for herself as a pioneer activist for women's rights, and is well-known for her strong leadership style, has invoked considerable controversy since complaining about being sidelined by the president-elect during an interview with local cable network TVBS last week.
Moreover, Beijing recently unleashed a string of vehement attacks against Lu for what they described as her overt support for Taiwan independence, and for likening Taiwan and China to "distant relatives and close neighbors."
In her speech yesterday, Lu took a step back, saying "If they [China] don't like the comparison, it's OK for me to compare Taiwan-China relations to close relatives and close neighbors."
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