Rarely do people know! The story of an Indonesian woman becoming China's first lady

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The presence of the first lady is always in the spotlight, especially in a country as big as China. However, not many people know that in modern Chinese history, there is an Indonesian woman who occupies an honorable place as first lady or first lady.

Who's he?

The woman is Oei Hui-lan. He was born in Semarang, 21 December 1889, to Oei Tiong Ham and Goei Bing Nio.

From birth, Oei Hui-lan was used to eating with a golden spoon in her mouth. His father, who was also born in Semarang, is a well-known sugar entrepreneur who has assets of up to 200 million guilders or IDR 44 trillion.

The father is also nicknamed the World Sugar King from Semarang. In his memoir entitled Oei Hui Lan: The story of the daughter of the Sugar King from Semarangshe said that her life as the daughter of a tycoon was dreamed of by all women in the world.

It is known that she was born with a beautiful face and had everything thanks to her father's gifts. His house alone in Semarang covers an area of ​​80 hectares which is equipped with private villas and pavilions.

He also doesn't have to get tired of sweeping and cooking because many helpers and chefs are provided. Every birthday when he was a teenager, his father always threw a luxurious party, accompanied by large decorations, lots of guests and famous entertainment.

“Father wanted my birthday party to be very special. Whatever the cost, it didn't matter to him,” recalled Oei Hui Lan.

Then, if he gets bored at home, he just has to choose any location to go on holiday. On this basis, he has many friends all over the world.

This wide network of friends allowed him to become acquainted with the British Royal Family and Chinese politicians which changed the course of his life. His name is Wellington Koo.

First Lady

Hui Lan's introduction to Wellington Koo first occurred in London, around the 1920s. At that time, Hui Lan was a widow and was living in London with her mother because her father had turned to another woman.

Meanwhile, Koo is a widower who became a diplomat representing China. Koo's position at that time was the second most important person in China.

In Makers of the Modern World: Wellington Koo (2008) explained that he often makes policies and leads China's diplomatic steps in the world. One of his roles was being one of the founders of the League of Nations.

After feeling compatible, Oei Hui Lan and Wellington Koo married in Brussels in 1921. A year later, Koo's position rose to become Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance of China.

During this period, Hui Lan officially became the wife of an official and reached its peak in 1926. After the death of the President of China, Sun Yat Sen, Koo then became acting President of the Republic of China, which then made Oei Hui Lan practically the first lady.

She said in her memoir that her husband always guarded the existence of the Republic of China by gathering support throughout the world. Wherever her husband went, Oei Hui Lan was by his side as a companion until he left office in 1927.

After no longer being first lady, Hui Lan lived with her husband in various cities. Starting from Shanghai, Paris, to London.

Long story short, their relationship ended in divorce in 1958. After that, Oei Hui Lan lived in New York to raise her three children.

However, he did not forget Indonesia. He is recorded as having done business in Indonesia. Referring to exposure Sam Setyautama in Chinese ethnic figures in Indonesia (2009), in 1986 Hui Lan did business in ships, tobacco and bicycles in Indonesia, but all failed.

The work of this Semarang-blooded woman stopped in 1992 after she died in New York. A city located 16,000 km from his homeland.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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