The funeral of Lee Hsin-kai (李新凱), an uncle of China’s first lady, Peng Liyuan (彭麗媛), was held yesterday in Chiayi.
Lee, a long-time Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member and Chiayi resident, died on Nov. 11 at the age of 86.
As Peng was not able to attend the ceremony, her brother, Peng Lei (彭磊), represented the Lee family.
Peng Lei arrived at the Chiayi Funeral Parlor at 8am and left at about 8:40am after burning incense and paying his respects.
The funeral was a low-key affair and the service was not open to the media. The family had hired security personnel to keep the event private.
KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), KMT Vice Chairman Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) and other party officials attended to pay their respects to Lee, as did People First Party Secretary-General Chin Chin-sheng (秦金生) and Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄).
The Democratic Progressive Party was represented by Secretary-General Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福),
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) sent flowers.
Lee fled to Taiwan as a student and joined the army after the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. He later taught elementary school.
After his retirement more than two decades ago, Lee, his daughter and son-in-law lived in Chiayi.
Lee led an unassuming life and after Xi Jinping (習近平) became Chinese president, he was particularly cautious, with only a few people in the neighborhood aware he that he was related to Xi’s wife.
Peng Liyuan, a singer who served as a civilian member of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, visited Taiwan in 1997 as part of a cultural exchange group. Since Chiayi was not on the group’s itinerary, she invited Lee and his family to Taipei for a family gathering.
She later invited her uncle to visit her in China.
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