Taiwan Communiqué No. 66, June 1995


In Memoriam Symeon Woo

On 14 May 1995, Mr. (Symeon) Woo Hsi-mien, passed away in the McKay Hospital in Taipei at the age of 65, a month after he was diagnosed having stomach cancer. Mr. Wu was a pillar of the Taiwanese community in Southern California and the founder and publisher of the Pacific Journal, a Chinese-language weekly newspaper published in the United States.

Mr. Wu was a burly, affable man with a loud voice and a big heart who earned respect from friends and foes for his dedication to Taiwan's democratic movement. As a devout Christian, Mr. Wu was committed to political and social justice. His sense of mission drove him to launch the Pacific Journal in Los Angeles in the mid 1980s. He wanted to use his paper as a forum to generate support for Taiwan's democratic movement from the Taiwanese community in the United States. Although Pacific Journal was a money-losing business, he continued to publish it.

Mr. Wu also set up the Taiwan United Fund, which became a major sponsor for Taiwanese cultural events. Every year writers, artists and musicians from Taiwan are invited to perform in the United States.

Mr. Wu also played the role of a mediator among the different factions in the opposition DPP, asking them to look for common ground so that they can join hands and work in the same direction. In fact, he flew back to Taiwan at the end of April with the mission to unify the major DPP-players behind one candidate in the race for DPP nominee for the presidency.

Mr. Wu immigrated to the United States from Taiwan in early 1980s and ran a successful business in agricultural produce and pharmaceutical products. He was survived by his 95-year old mother, his wife, two sons and a daughter.

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