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Yenching alumna Chao Lan-kun passes away

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Peking University, Apr. 19, 2011: Chao Lan-kun, mother of Kuomintang (KMT) Honorary Chairman Lien Chan, passed away on the night of April 17 in Taipei.


The Yenching University alumna was 103, according to traditional Chinese count.



Chao Lan-kun and Lien Chan (File photo/Taihainet.com)


Chao Lan-kun was sent into NTU Hospital during the night of April 11 for difficulty in breathing and her condition was under control for a time. However, because of the apoplexy she had suffered from for a long time and the senescence of her organs at such a high age, she died of cardiopulmonary failure at 21:16 on the night of April 17 in the hospital.


By the time Chao Lan-kun passed away, her son Lien Chan, her daughter-in-law Fang Yu, her grandchildren and her grandchildren-in-law had all stayed at her bedside. KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou contacted Lien Chan to express his condolence as soon as he was informed of the message. Lien Chan has decided to bury his mother according to the Christian convention in a few days and hold a memorial meeting next week in order to reminisce Chao Lan-kun’s whole lifetime, which was filled with benevolence and generosity. Moreover, Lien Chan indicated that according to Chao Lan-kun’s last words they would keep all the funeral arrangements simple and thrifty, and thus no funeral committee would be founded.


Chao Lan-kun was born in 1910 in Shenyang. Her ancestors moved to Northeast China from Shandong Province to engage in business deals. Chao Lan-kun used to study in a Christian school which resulted in her faith in Christianity. Because of her outstanding performance at school, she was recommended in 1930 to attend Yenching University, which was merged into Peking University in the 1950s.


Graduated from Yenching's school of theology, Chao married Lien Chen-tung in 1934 and gave birth to Lien Chan in 1936. After Chao moved to Taiwan with her family in 1946, she started to deal with the properties of their family with her excellent intelligence and foresight in investment. She succeeded in expanding their properties from the land of only 30,000 square meters to millions of assets and established the financial foundation for today’s Lien family.


Then KMT Chairman Lien Chan received special gifts from his "alma mater" - literally in Chinese "mother's university" (today's PKU) - in 2005. (File photo/gmw.cn)


Lien Chan visited the Chinese mainland in 2005 for the first time since 1949, and before setting out he reported to his mother that he was going “back” to PKU to make a speech, where Chao Lan-kun spent her college life. At that time, PKU prepared special gifts for Lien Chan, including Chao Lan-kun’s academic archives, recommendation letters from her high school, registration forms, and transcripts.


Lien Chan’s several visits to the mainland in recent years, to some extent, realized his mother’s wish of returning to her hometown in another way.


Senior leaders of the Communist Party of China have extended condolences to Lien's family and General Secretary Hu Jintao will send delegates to Chao's funeral on April 28, CNA reported.



Reported by: Xu Xinyi
Edited by: Arthars