|Constituency Highland Aborigines|
Role Taiwanese Politician
|Name Kao Su-mei|
Nationality Republic of China
Movies The Wedding Banquet
|Born 21 September 1965 (age 50)
Heping, Taichung County (1965-09-21) |
Political party Non-Partisan Solidarity Union
Alma mater Minzu University of China
Party Non-Partisan Solidarity Union
Albums Virgo Lover, My Heart Remains Her Grace, Emotion & Infatuation, The Tide
Similar People Ang Lee, James Schamus, Ted Hope, Tim Squyres
Education Minzu University of China
Kao Chin Su-mei (born September 21, 1965), also known as Chin Su-mei and May Chin, is a Taiwanese politician and retired actress and singer. She is of Manchu and Atayal descent, and her Atayal name is Ciwas Ali.
In the 1980s and 1990s, she starred in many popular TV series and films including Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet (1993). She also released several Mandopop albums. She retired from showbiz in 1999 following her diagnosis of liver cancer which she recovered from.
Chin was elected into the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in December 2001, and re-elected in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016, all in the Highland Aborigines electoral district. Representing the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union, she is currently the only party member in the Legislative Yuan, and a strong advocate of aboriginal rights. She is also associated with the Pan-Blue Coalition and harbors pro-Chinese unification and anti-Japan views.
Chin Su-mei was born in Heping Township, Taichung County (now part of Taichung City). Her father was an ethnic Manchu from mainland China, and her mother was a Taiwanese Aborigine of the Atayal tribe. In the mid-1980s, she stood for election to be a representative of Taiwanese Aborigines within the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China (Taiwan), during which she took on the Chinese surname of her Taiwanese Aborigine mother, hence becoming Kao Chin Su-mei. Her Ayatal name is Ciwas Ali and May Chin remains her stage name.
Chin also published at least 8 Mandopop albums and showed up in various local commercials. Besides acting, in mid-1990s May Chin ran a wedding photography service shop in Taipei. However this shop burned down in 1996 and the fire claimed six lives.
Since entering the Legislative Yuan after elected in the 2001 Republic of China legislative election, Chin has been noted for her outspoken views, traditional Atayal costume and face paint in the shape of traditional Atayal tattoo work reserved for married women. Chin has also been tightly associated with the Pan-Blue Coalition, especially in close cooperation with the People First Party. She is also noted for her anti-Japan and China-friendly standpoints, and even protested in front of the Yasukuni Shrine in an effort to remove the enshrined spirits of Taiwanese Aboriginal soldiers who died fighting for the Japanese army during World War II, as well as sued Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for visiting Yasukuni Shrine. (These events were retold in the 2007 documentary film Yasukuni.)
She was elected again as the member of Legislative Yuan after the 2008 Republic of China legislative election held on 12 January 2008.
On 19 August 2009, Chin met with the President of the People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao. At the meeting, President Hu expressed his deep sorrow and condolences for the typhoon victims in Taiwan to an actor-turned-politician Kao who led a delegation of her fellow ethnic minorities in Taiwan to visit the mainland. Hu added that "People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are of one family and Chinese people have a long tradition of lending a hand to those in danger and difficulties."
As a parliament member, Chin is dedicated to the benefits of Taiwanese Aborigines, hence receiving strong support from her constituents.
Never married, she was in a relationship with Hong Kong actor Kenny Ho in early 1990s. She also had a long and lasting extramarital affair with the Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan between mid-2000s and early 2010s. In 1998, Chin was diagnosed with liver cancer. She recovered after a surgery.