Thu, May 05, 2011 - Page 1 News List

John Kuan, wife rush to China after daughter’s death

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff Reporters, with CNA

Examination Yuan President John Kuan (關中) and his wife, Chang Hui-chun (張惠君), rushed to Shanghai yesterday after their only daughter, Kuan Yun-ti (關雲娣), died suddenly.

She had allegedly jumped to her death.

As a politically appointee, John Kuan was required by the Act Governing the Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) to apply for government permission before going to China.

The Ministry of the Interior approved his application yesterday afternoon. He is the most senior official to travel to China since restrictions on travel to China were eased in 1987.

“Since it’s an emergency and out of humanitarian concern, we took care of the application in the fastest possible manner,” Deputy Minister of the Interior Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) said.

Upon receiving the application, the ministry sent the documents to the other necessary agencies via fax — normally, the application would be reviewed in a meeting — and since “no one had any questions, we gave it a ‘go’ right away,” Chien said.

The approval came down about 4pm and John Kuan departed from Taipei International Airport (Songshan) on a 5:15pm China Eastern Airlines flight.

Approached by reporters at the airport, John Kuan said he had obtained special permission from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to go to China.

Kuan Yun-ti married a Chinese man in March last year in a ceremony at a Phuket, Thailand, resort. She is survived by her daughter and husband.

Chang, who left Taipei on an earlier flight as her husband awaited government permission for his trip, insinuated her daughter’s death was triggered by her son-in-law having an affair.

“Let me tell you directly. She was married for less than one year. I don’t blame anyone. Who falls in love with somebody else, who has done what … Why did she die this way? I beg all the children in the world not to harm your parents [like this]. That’s it. Please don’t ask me any questions. I am in such sorrow,” Chang said when approached for comments.

Chang said her daughter had recently been in low spirits. She said she wanted to tell young people that there was no question in the world that could not be resolved and no frustration that could not be overcome, so they should never think of committing suicide.

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