First lady Peng Liyuan’s brother attends Taiwan funeral

Service for Peng’s uncle becomes a chance for both of the island’s political parties to show goodwill to Beijing

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2016, 11:48pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2016, 11:48pm

The funeral in Taiwan of an uncle of first lady Peng Liyuan became a chance for both of the island’s political parties to show goodwill to Beijing.

The wife of President Xi Jinping did not attend the funeral of Lee Hsin-kai, who died on the island at 86 on November 11. Instead, Peng Lei, her brother, went to Chiayi in southern Taiwan to pay final respects on behalf of the family.

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Lee fled from Shandong province to Taiwan during China’s civil war in the late 1940s as a student. Although he held no senior government posts and had lived a quiet life as a school teacher, Lee’s funeral was attended by Hung Hsiu-chu, the chairwoman of the Kuomintang party.

Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s former president, sent a wreath. And although Ma’s successor Tsai Ing-wen signed a wreath, she did so in her capacity as Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman.

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According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, Peng was greeted by staff from the Straits Exchange Foundation, the island’s semi­official agency in charge of cross-strait affairs.

Peng kept a low profile during his visit to Taiwan, avoiding the limelight and making no public comments.

While the funeral quickly became a heated topic in Taiwanese newspapers, neither it nor Peng’s visit was given much mention in mainland media.

Search results for the name Lee Hsin-kai led to almost no related news on the social media platform Weibo.