Chen Wei Ting 陳為廷, born on December 11, 1990, is originally from Taiwan’s western city of Miaoli and is of Hakka descent.
Chen’s original name was Huang Wei Jie黃暐傑but later changed it to his mother’s surname after his mother passed away due to cancer when he was 13 years old, according to Taiwan’s media. Chen’s father meanwhile passed away when Chen was three months old due to a car accident.
Taiwan’s media believes he used his mother’s surname after both parents passed away due to his longer-lasting connection with his mother. Chen was later adopted by a relative and there has yet to be an explanation why his first name changed, said Taiwan’s media.
Chen has been very active in Taiwan’s political scene since the age of 18, participating in various social movements throughout 2008-2014. In 2008, Chen was involved with the TW Action 1106 movement and later various local social rallies in Miaoli.
Upon coming to Taipei Chen became very active at National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) where he is currently a student at the Department of Sociology and writes for several social related magazines. During his studies he marched against a trade pact that was being passed by Taiwan’s government, leading to further protests and eventually the overtake of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, which is referred to as the Sunflower Movement.
Chen paired up with Lin Fei-fan at the event. There is no indication whether the two knew each other before the protests, and the media has voiced several opinions, but the two nevertheless became the leaders of the movement, taking turns making announcements over its next move.
Chen is famous for wearing his black “Fuck the government” shirt during major protest events despite the Chinese roughly translated as “The people need to save the country.”
Taiwanese have mixed views about Chen. Half feel he is an outspoken youngster who likes to protest for the sake of protesting and finding trouble where it is not needed. Such Taiwanese also tend to believe that Chen’s political message is not clear and that he does not have the experience to be dictating national affairs. Other Taiwanese meanwhile view him like Lin, in that he is a hero who is trying to save Taiwan’s cultural, economic and political future.
Chen and Lin were later arrested in a protest related to Taiwan’s nuclear power development, calling on the government to stop construction of a fourth plant that will reside outside of Taiwan’s capital Taipei. Charges have since been dropped and it was said the move was to lessen any larger protest outbreaks similar to that of the Sunflower Movement.
Meanwhile, Chen seems to express his liking for “hot chicks” on his Facebook page, often making comments and crating posts about the latest buzz related to girls in Greater China.