Koo Chen-fu

Koo Chen-fu (Chinese: 辜振甫; pinyin: Gū Zhènfǔ; Wade–Giles: Ku Chen-fu; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ko͘ Chín-hú, 6 January 1917 – 3 January 2005), also known as C.F. Koo, 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 mainland China since 1949 and served as Taiwan's negotiator in both the 1993 and 1998 Wang-Koo summit.

Koo Chen-fu
Koo (left) in 1946 with Chang Pin-san
Chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation
In office
21 November 1990 – 3 January 2005
DeputyJohnnason Liu
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byJohnnason Liu (acting)
Chang Chun-hsiung
Personal details
Born(1917-01-06)6 January 1917
Taihoku Chō, Taiwan, Empire of Japan
Died3 January 2005(2005-01-03) (aged 87)
Taipei, Taiwan
NationalityRepublic of China
ChildrenChester Koo, Leslie Koo
Alma materTaihoku Imperial University

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), The Coldest Winter in Peking (1981), and Attack Force Z (1982).[1]

Early lifeEdit

Born in northern Taiwan into a wealthy family headed by his father Koo Hsien-jung,[2] Koo attended Taihoku Imperial University (now National Taiwan University). He inherited a substantial fortune and a business upon his father's death in 1937. 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.[3] After his release, he took refuge in Hong Kong and only returned to Taiwan in 1949 to marry his wife, Cecilia Koo [zh]. He focused on running Koos Group as well as on his political career that led to his elevation to the central committee of Kuomintang.[4][5]

SEF ChairmanshipEdit

Koo was the founding chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).[6] 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 Jiang Zemin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, 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.[7]


Koo Chen-fu died of renal cancer on the morning of 3 January 2005 at the age of 87.[8]


  1. ^ Koo Chen-fu at the Hong Kong Movie DataBase
  2. ^ Yeh, Lindy (April 15, 2002). "The Koo family: a century in Taiwan". Taipei Times. p. 3. Retrieved 2014-12-22.
  3. ^ Han Cheung (22 July 2018). "Taiwan in Time: Sedition or a groundless verdict?". Taipei Times. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  4. ^ Reyes, Alejandro (October 3, 1998). "Tycoon and statesman: Koo has excelled in many roles". Asiaweek.
  5. ^ Su, Joy (January 4, 2005). "Koo one of the nation's most important figures". Taipei Times.
  6. ^ "Exchange 'Link' May Break Down Contact 'Wall'; ROC will Allow". Taiwan Today. 26 November 1990. Archived from the original on 10 November 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Gaps remain between China and Taiwan". BBC News. October 18, 1998. A report on the 1998 talks.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  8. ^ Chen, Melody (January 4, 2005). "Koo Chen-fu, 88, dies of kidney cancer". Taipei Times. Retrieved 22 December 2014.

External linksEdit

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