Fri, Feb 01, 2008 - Page 4 News List

President visits Kinmen troops

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) flew to Kinmen yesterday to inspect military facilities and greet military personnel posted there prior to the Lunar New Year.

Chen traveled by helicopter to Kinmen before boarding a speed boat for Tatan Islet (大膽島) to meet garrison soldiers.

Afterwards, the president -- clad in an army overcoat -- was taken to Hsiaochinmen (小金門), to meet more soldiers.

ARTILLERY DRILL

Chen, flanked by Minister of National Defense Lee Tien-yu (李天羽), Chief of the General Staff Huo Shou-yeh (霍守業) and other ranking military officials, reviewed an artillery drill on a coastal field on Hsiaochinmen.

In his address to the soldiers, Chen wished them a happy Lunar New Year and stressed the importance of Kinmen because of its strategic location.

RED ENVELOPES

In related news, the president is scheduled to give away New Year's red envelopes on the Lunar New Year's Day, which falls on Thursday.

A long line is expected to form outside the residence of Chen's parents in Kuantien Township (官田), Tainan County, starting early on Thursday.

People from around the country line up to receive the envelopes, considered lucky, from the president each year.

LAST CHANCE

As this will be Chen's last time handing out the holiday envelopes as president, larger crowds are expected.

The Kuantien Township government will provide fried rice noodles and fish ball soup for 20,000 people on New Year's Day.

Chen is expected to join in, partaking of the traditional Tainan delicacies.

During each year of Chen's presidency, the Chen family residence has been surrounded by crowds of "red envelope hunters" on Lunar New Year's Day, many of whom begin lining up days in advance.

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