Fri, Jun 23, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Chen Li-hung dies at 52

FAMILIAR FACE:The famous political commentator and television personality’s death elicited strong reactions from politicians from all parties, including the president

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

A picture of political commentator Chen Li-hung and his favorite food and coffee are laid out on a table at his memorial service in Taipei’s Zhongshan District yesterday.

Photo: Chung Chih-kai, Taipei Times

Government leaders and prominent public figures yesterday paid tribute to political commentator Chen Li-hung (陳立宏), 52, who died of a brain tumor at a Taipei hospital on Wednesday, following several operations and chemotherapy over the past three years.

“All his life, Li-hung, using pen and microphone, let people see what is good about Taiwan and the important values of our democracy,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said on Facebook.

“I want to express my gratitude for what he has done for this land of ours. I shall not forget his ideals and I shall not let him down,” Tsai wrote.

“We are deeply saddened by Li-hung’s passing,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) LLegislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said. “Always concerned with our nation’s future, he spoke up on many issues and gave valuable insight on current affairs.”

“We will vividly remember his great work and incisive remarks. People were touched by his fighting spirit that never quit,” Su said.

“Chen was a media personality who articulated views based on his love for Taiwan. He always had a smile on his face and told people how proud he was of being Taiwanese. Everyone saw his contributions to the nation,” Su said.

Doctors diagnosed Chen with a malignant brain tumor at an advanced stage in 2015.

Chen’s final public appearance was in Changhua County in January last year, when he spoke on behalf of then-presidential candidate Tsai in the run-up to the election.

At that time, Chen said that after learning of the illness, he felt the affection and caring of all Taiwanese.

“I must go on living and fight off the grip of death,” he said.

During that final appearance, Chen displayed optimism about his condition.

“God is looking kindly over me so that I am getting better. He is allowing me to see the DPP become the ruling party,” he said.

“I want to go on living, because I want to see the dawning of a bright future for Taiwan,” he said.

A second-generation Mainlander born in then-Tainan County, Chen went into journalism after graduating from National Taiwan University with a degree in political science.

He worked for the Chinese-language China Times Express and United Evening News, before branching into radio broadcasting and later becoming a political commentator on TV talk shows.

Although he was associated with the pan-blue camp and its affiliated media outlets earlier in his career, Chen later became more associated with the pan-green camp, hosting shows on the Greenpeace Broadcasting Station and working with pro-Taiwan localization groups.

“I spoke to him when he was getting treatment,” New Power Party Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) said. “Chen did not say much about his condition, but he was most concerned about Taiwan’s future and its political development… I am anguished after learning that he has departed.”

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