Mon, Dec 17, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Former China envoy to visit for ex-SEF chair’s memorial

Staff writer, with CNA

China’s former Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) plans to visit Taiwan to pay his respects to his late counterpart former Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤), who died at the age of 85.

The Taipei-based SEF is to assist with Chen’s visit, former SEF secretary-general Kao Wen-cheng (高文誠) said on Saturday, adding that a precise date and schedule have yet to be determined.

A memorial in honor of Chiang is being held at the SEF building until Dec. 21, Kao said, adding that Chiang’s family has said they hope Chen will arrive before then.

Chiang, SEF chairman from 2008 to 2012, died on Monday last week of multiple organ failure at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei. At the time of his death, he was head of the Straits Economic and Cultural Interchange Association.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office on Friday confirmed in a statement that Chen would visit Taiwan in a private capacity.

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) would work with the SEF to assist with Chen’s visit, MAC Deputy Minister and spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said on Saturday.

When asked about Chen’s schedule, former SEF vice chairman Kao Koong-lian (高孔廉) said that Chen’s itinerary is simple: He would pay tribute to Chiang in person and visit to Chiang’s wife at their home, before returning to China.

Kao also rejected speculation that Chen would meet with former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) during his visit, saying that he “probably would not.”

A source with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity, said that it is unclear whether Chen would meet with Lien, and even if they did, it would be a catch-up between “two old friends.”

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