Fri, Dec 17, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Tributes flow for Chiang Fang-liang

BIDDING FAREWELL There were emotional scenes as mourners paid their respects to the reclusive former first lady, as family members discussed funeral protocol

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

An elderly man breaks down at a memorial for Faina Chiang Fang-liang, wife of the late president Chiang Ching-kuo, at Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday.

PHOTO: AP

Grieving for former first lady Faina Chiang Fang-liang (蔣方良) continued yesterday, a day after she died of pulmonary and cardiac failure in Taipei.

Members of the public and government officials alike paid their respects to Chiang, the widow of late president Chiang Ching-Kuo (蔣經國), yesterday at a public memorial hall set up in her memory at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital's Longevity Hall.

Chiang, who suffered chronic ill health in her later years, died on Wednesday afternoon. She was 88.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) visited the memorial hall yesterday, commending Chiang for her accomplishments as a wife and as a mother.

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who served as vice president under Chiang Ching-kuo, also went to the memorial hall yesterday to pay his respects.

Hundreds of private citizens also visited the hall, some weeping openly as they bade farewell.

Noticeably absent from the mourning hall was KMT legislator-elect John Chang (章孝嚴). Chiang Fang-liang and Chang were not on speaking terms.

Yesterday morning Chang met with his nephew, Chiang Hsiao-kang (蔣孝剛), son of the late general Wego Chiang (蔣緯國).

John Chang, who is the son of Chiang Ching-Kuo and his mistress Chang Ya-ruo (章亞若), told media that he and Chiang Hsiao-kang had talked about his role in Chiang Fang-liang's funeral arrangements in an hour-long meeting yesterday morning.

When asked if he would attend the funeral, Chang said only that he would discuss the matter with his half sister-in-law, Hsu Nai-Chin (徐乃錦) before making a decision.

According to the hospital, the mourning hall dedicated to Chiang Fang-liang will be open to the public for the next eight days.

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