Chen Wan-shui (陳萬水), wife of People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), died at the age of 72 at a Taipei hospital yesterday.
Confirming the news in a statement last night, the party said Chen passed away at the Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center (KFSYSCC) in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) at 12:40pm yesterday with Soong, her son and her daughter at her side.
The family members are grieving deeply and declined interviews, the statement said, and asked that they be given space to grieve in private.
Soong also said in the statement that no mourning service would be held, to reflect Chen’s low-profile personality.
Chen was reportedly diagnosed with cancer in late 2006. However, these reports were repeatedly downplayed and dismissed by Soong, a veteran politician who was an independent Taipei mayoral candidate in 2006 and a presidential candidate in 2000 and this year.
In 2004, he paired with then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Lien Chan (連戰) as his running mate.
In May, reports of Chen’s deteriorating condition surfaced and she was reportedly admitted to an intensive care unit for further treatment at the same hospital. KFSYSCC vice superintendent Hsieh Yen-yao (謝炎堯) verified Chen’s hospitalization at the time, but declined to make any mention of her physical state.