Sun, Jun 19, 2005 - Page 2 News List

President's son ties the knot in Taipei

BIG DAY The couple were served dishes with Taiwanese ingredients rather than shark's fin soup, and observed all the small rituals of a traditional Taiwanese wedding

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chen Chih-chung, left, yesterday holds the limousine door for his bride, Huang Rui-jing.


Beaming and shedding happy tears, the first family formally yesterday welcomed a new member into their clan as Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), the only son of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), tied the knot in a ceremonial wedding with Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚).

The wedding banquet began at noon at Taipei's Sheraton Hotel, with some 500 guests invited to share the occasion with the first family. Aside from the newlyweds' relatives and friends, attending dignitaries included the heads of the five branches of government, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲).

Business heavyweights such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) and Taipei 101 CEO Diana Chen (陳敏薰) were also spotted at the banquet.

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who attended the wedding banquet of President Chen's daughter Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤) four years ago, said he could not attend this time, citing a prior engagement in Kaohsiung City.

Serving as the wedding witness was the President of the Judicial Yuan Weng Yueh-sheng (翁岳生). Weng was President Chen's professor at National Taiwan University and was also the witness for the marriage of Chen Shui-bian and first lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) 30 years ago, as well as that of Chen Hsing-yu in 2001.

In his capacity as the father of the groom, President Chen said in a speech that it has been the Chen family's tradition to get married at a young age.

"I had no objection to [Chih-chung] getting married early ... but am a proud father, so long as he demonstrates maturity and is able to shoulder responsibility," the president said, against the backdrop of a giant picture of the newlyweds.

The president advised his 26 year-old son to "never pursue the road of politician" -- citing his own involvement in politics, which resulted in an assassination attempt on his wife that left her wheelchair-bound and put great pressure on his children.

On a lighter note, the president remembered his wedding with Wu 30 years ago, and said they had taken just six wedding photos.

"But like every couple, there are fights and quarrels in married life. Every time when there was a fight, a picture was torn, and so now there are no more [wedding] pictures left," said the President, who got a round of chuckles from the audience when he noted "Now I realize why young couples like to take so many sets of wedding pictures nowadays."

Noting the floods brought by heavy rains in the past few days which wreaked havoc in southern Taiwan, the president said the floods also served as an education for the newlyweds.

"[It] reminds us that while we may now be submerged in happiness, there are others who are suffering," the President said. "In their future life together, the couple ought to responsibly face all that is to come."

Speaking after Chen, Huang's father spoke of his pride in his daughter and his confidence that Chen Chih-chung would take good care of her.

The symbol "hsi" (), which mean "happiness," was decorated in the ballroom as well. The symbol is made up of two of the same character "hsi" (), meaning "double happiness" -- referring to marital bliss.

The first family had wished to keep the event as low-profile as it could be, especially due to the recent tragic floods.

"The first family wished to keep it simple, modest ... and just like a commoner's [wedding]," said Presidential Office spokesman Chen Wen-tsung (陳文宗).

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