Chen Chu or Kiku Chen (traditional Chinese: 陳菊; simplified Chinese: 陈菊; pinyin: Chén Jú; Wade–Giles: Ch'en2 Chü2; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tân Kiok; born 10 June 1950 in Yilan County, Taiwan) is a Taiwanese politician who served as Mayor of Kaohsiung between 2006 and 2018. She was one of the "Kaohsiung Eight," prominent dissidents arrested after the Kaohsiung Incident in 1979. She spent six years in jail during the martial law period in Taiwan.

Chen Chu
Joyce Chen
Kiku chen (3x4).jpg
Secretary General to the President
Assumed office
23 April 2018
PresidentTsai Ing-wen
DeputyLiu Chien-sin
Preceded byJoseph Wu
Liu Chien-sin (acting)
Mayor of Kaohsiung
In office
25 December 2006 – 20 April 2018
Preceded byYeh Chu-lan (acting)
Succeeded byHsu Li-ming (acting)
Han Kuo-yu
Chair of the Democratic Progressive Party
In office
1 March 2012 – 30 May 2012
Preceded byTsai Ing-wen
Succeeded bySu Tseng-chang
Minister of Council of Labor Affairs of the Republic of China
In office
20 May 2000 – 19 September 2005
Preceded byChan Huo-shen
Succeeded byLee Ying-yuan
Personal details
Born (1950-06-10) 10 June 1950 (age 69)
Sanxing, Yilan County, Taiwan
NationalityRepublic of China
Political partyDemocratic Progressive Party
Alma materShih Hsin University
National Sun Yat-sen University

Chen, who holds a master's degree from National Sun Yat-sen University, held senior appointed posts in Taipei City and Kaohsiung City governments between 1995 and 2000. She then served as minister of the Council of Labor Affairs between 2000 and 2005. In 2006, Chen Chu won the Kaohsiung mayoral elections and became the city's first elected female mayor. She was re-elected in 2010 with 52% of the vote in a three-way race.

On 30 August 2009, the 14th Dalai Lama accepted an invitation from Chen Chu to visit Taiwan.[1]

Chen served as Acting Chair of the Democratic Progressive Party in 2012.

Kaohsiung mayoraltyEdit

2006 Kaohsiung mayoral electionEdit

On 9 December 2006, Chen narrowly won the 2006 Kaohsiung mayoral elections over Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Huang Jun-ying (黃俊英) by just 1,120 votes.[2] Huang filed two lawsuits against Chen's camp, asking the court to annul Chen's victory. He argued that the airing of a video on the eve of the election resulted in his loss. The Kaohsiung District Court ruled in favor of Huang Jun-ying in one of the cases, thereby nullifying the elections.[3]

Soon after hearing the news, Chen expressed that she would appeal the case. She said that if she accepted the ruling, it would be political suicide. While her DPP colleague and legislator Kuan Bi-ling advised Chen to give up the appeal and allow a by-election,[3] Chen nonetheless appealed the case. Some wondered if Kuan, who lost to Chen in the primaries, made the remark out of personal interest.[3]

The High Court overturned the earlier decision and validated Chen's election victory on 17 November 2007.[4][5] In December 2007, after her mayoralty was proven indisputable, she announced that her new goal is to focus on improving the city's transportation, public construction, and environmental protection.[6]

No Candidate Party Votes %
1 Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英)   378,303 49.27%
2 Lin Chi-sheng (林志昇) 1,746 0.23%
3 Lo Chih-ming 6,599 0.86%
4 Lin Ching-yuan (林景元) 1,803 0.23%
5 Chen Chu 379,417 49.41%

Chienchen River cleanupEdit

In April 2009, mayor Chen promised to improve the water quality of Chienchen River, a river that the locals called "Heilungchiang" (Chinese: 黑龍江; lit. "Black Dragon River"). She said that NT$120 million (approximately US$3.6 million) will be spent to complete the task. She vowed to make Kaohsiung a city that is not just notable for the beauty of its Love River.[7]

World Games 2009Edit

Kaohsiung was the host city of World Games 2009. Chen Chu visited the People's Republic of China (commonly known as "China") to promote the Games. During a meeting with Beijing mayor Guo Jinlong, Chen addressed President Ma Ying-jeou with his formal title, which garnered much support from the DPP and the Kaohsiung City Council.[8] Chen's trip to China was criticized by several localization activist groups including the Taiwan Solidarity Union. However, Chen said that the trip was intended to benefit Kaohsiung.[9] During her trip, she met with not only the mayor of Beijing, but also Shanghai mayor Han Zheng and Chinese Olympic Committee chairman Liu Pong.

The main venue for the Games, the World Games Stadium, was designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito.[10] The groundbreaking and completion of the stadium both occurred during Chen's term as mayor.

The closing ceremony was held at the sold-out World Games Stadium, where International World Games Association President Ron Froehlich called it a "fantastic success" and declared it the "best ever."[11] Kaohsiung's tourism bureau announced that the Games generated almost US$61 million in revenue for the city. The city's department stores reported a 15 percent growth in sales. Mayor Chen said that Kaohsiung would no longer be known only as the second largest city in Taiwan, but also as the city that hosted the best World Games ever.[12]

Typhoon FanapiEdit

Mayor Chen on a R.O.C. Marine Corps' AAV-7A1 Typhoon Fanapi rescue efforts.

Chen Chu was criticized for napping in her residence while parts of Kaohsiung flooded when Typhoon Fanapi ripped through Taiwan on 19 September 2010.

Chen tearfully admitted to napping and to feeling guilty for taking a rest. She also stressed that she returned home to change her wet clothes and was also keeping a close eye on the storm.[13] Critics called for Chen to resign from her post, and compared Chen's napping to former Premier Liu Chao-Shiuan's getting a haircut and former Executive Yuan Secretary-General Hsieh Hsiang-chuan's attending a Father's Day dinner during August 2009's Typhoon Morakot.[14][15]

Chen Chu and the City Government were sued by Benhe borough (本和里) chief Lin Chi-mei (林紀美), a fellow DPP member, in the aftermath of the flooding, alleging that the city government did not maintain proper facilities that might have prevented flooding.[16][17]

2010 Kaohsiung mayoral electionEdit

On 27 November 2010, Chen ran for reelection, opposing the KMT's Huang Chao-shun and independent candidate Yang Chiu-hsing. She eventually won the 2010 Kaohsiung mayoral election with 52.80% of votes.[18] This was the first time elections were held for the special municipality of Kaohsiung, a merger of Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County that became official on December 25.

Party # Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Progressive Party 3 Chen Chu 821,089 52.80%  
  Independent 1 Yang Chiu-hsing 414,950 26.68%
  Kuomintang 2 Huang Chao-shun 319,171 20.52%
Total 1,555,210 100.00%
Voter turnout 72.52%

2014 gas explosionsEdit

Citizens of Kaohsiung have criticized Chen for a slow reaction to the 2014 Kaohsiung gas explosions.[19] The Kuomintang caucus of the Kaohsiung City Council sued her for negligence that led to loss of life.[20] A subpoena was issued for Chen and three other city officials on 22 September.[21] The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office decided not to indict Chen on 18 December.[22]

2014 Kaohsiung mayoral electionEdit

On 29 November 2014, Chen Chu ran for a third mayoral term in the 2014 elections as the DPP candidate. She faced Yang Chiu-hsing of the KMT. She eventually won with 68.09% of votes.[23]

2014 Kaohsiung City Mayoralty Election Result
No. Candidate Party Votes Percentage
1 Chou Ko-sheng (周可盛) Independent 14,925 1.02%
2 Chen Chu DPP 993,300 68.09%
3 Yang Chiu-hsing   KMT 450,647 30.89%


  1. ^ 達賴搭機來台 表明純祈福消災 Archived 24 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine – 中央社
  2. ^ Bradsher, Keith (9 December 2006). "Taiwan Leader's Party Ekes Out Win". New York Times. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b c "Analysis: Kaohsiung mayorship annulment could benefit DPP". The Taipei Times. 18 June 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  4. ^ "Chen Chu urges KMT to accept ruling". The Taipei Times. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  5. ^ "DPP mayor stays on top as court overturns ruling". The Standard. Hong Kong. 17 November 2007. Archived from the original on 21 November 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2007.
  6. ^ 侯承旭 (25 December 2007). 陳菊就職一週年 宣示施政三方向. Liberty Times (in Chinese). Taiwan (ROC). Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  7. ^ 前鎮河整容 市長拍胸脯. Liberty Times (in Chinese). Taiwan (ROC). 7 April 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  8. ^ 陳菊赴中發聲 民進黨肯定 台聯批自爽. Liberty Times (in Chinese). Taiwan (ROC). 23 May 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  9. ^ 陳菊:赴中為高雄利益. Liberty Times (in Chinese). Taiwan (ROC). 23 May 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  10. ^ Ouroussoff, Nicolai (16 July 2009). "Stadium Where Worlds Collide, Humanely". New York Times. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  11. ^ "Sport beats out politics". Straits Times. Singapore. 30 July 2009. Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  12. ^ "Kaohsiung officials bask in Games' glory, revenues". The Taipei Times. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  13. ^ Wang, Flora (12 November 2010). "2010 ELECTIONS: Kaohsiung mayor appears in court". Taipei Times. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Chen Chu apologizes for absence". The Taipei Times. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Cna English News". 29 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Borough chief sues Chen Chu over flooding". The Taipei Times. 15 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  17. ^ "Cna English News". 27 September 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  18. ^ Wang, Flora (28 November 2010). "2010 ELECTIONS: Chen Chu secures Greater Kaohsiung". Taipei Times. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  19. ^ "Taiwan gas blast city wants pipelines moved". Channel NewsAsia. Agence France-Presse. 2 August 2014. Archived from the original on 2 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  20. ^ Chen, Chao-fu; Chen, Christie (27 August 2014). "KMT sues Kaohsiung mayor over deadly gas blasts". Central News Agency. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  21. ^ Wang, Shwu-fen; Kao, Evelyn (23 September 2014). "Kaohsiung mayor subpoenaed for fatal gas blasts". Central News Agency. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  22. ^ Chen, Ja-fo; Low, Y.F. (18 December 2014). "12 indicted for Kaohsiung gas explosions". Central News Agency. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  23. ^ Wang, Jung-hsiang; Huang, Wen-huang; Chung, Jake (30 November 2014). "2014 ELECTIONS: Kaohsiung and Tainan's mayors win re-election". Taipei Times. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
Government offices
Preceded by
Yeh Chu-lan (acting)
Mayor of Kaohsiung
Succeeded by
Chen Chu
Preceded by
Chen Chu
Mayor of Kaohsiung
(Greater Kaohsiung)

Succeeded by
Hsu Li-ming (acting)
Preceded by
Liu Chien-sin (acting)
Secretary General to the President of the Republic of China
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tsai Ing-wen
Leader of the Democratic Progressive Party

Succeeded by
Su Tseng-chang