Mon, May 30, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Hualien Mayor Tien Chih-hsuan dies of lung cancer at 56

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Hualien City Mayor Tien Chih-hsuan smiles for the camera in an undated photograph.

Photo: Hua Meng-ching, Taipei Times

Hualien Mayor Tien Chih-hsuan (田智宣), who was the only Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member to have been elected as a municipal official in Hualien and was considered a pioneer for the party in an area that is overwhelmingly pro-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), died yesterday at the age of 56.

Tien was diagnosed with lung cancer before the Jan. 16 elections.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), accompanied by DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), arrived at Tien’s residence late yesterday afternoon to pay her respects, after inspecting two air force bases in Hualien County.

“Tien was a person who wholeheartedly focused on his work, and would even sacrifice his life for it,” Tsai said. “There is a lot of work he was yet to complete. We will help him to finish what he could not.”

Tsai had already been scheduled to visit Tien yesterday while she was in Hualien.

Tien’s wife, Chang Mei-hui (張美慧), said she is happy she married Tien and became part of his family.

“I believe we will meet again. I will shed my tears in a place where no one is around,” she said.

Hsiao, the first DPP legislator elected in Hualien County since 1992, lamented Tien’s passing on Facebook.

“This has been a disturbing night, the thing that would sadden me the has happened. All these years you have been my most important partner and supporter in Hualien, and you have been someone to rely on for leading Hualien forward,” Hsiao wrote. “My heart ached to see your pain and suffering, but at the end, we still have to say goodbye, so that you may be freed from the sickness. Your efforts have left beautiful marks for Hualien.”

Tien started his political career in a village warden’s office. Over the past 20 years he was elected a Hualien County councilor, Jian Township (吉安) mayor, and Hualien mayor, without loosing an election, creating a legacy in Hualien, where pan-blue politicians enjoy overwhelming support.

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