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President kicks off home stay program

President kicks off home stay program

Taipei, Dec. 4 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou kicked off his home stay program Friday night at a farmer's home in central Taiwan. The president arrived at the home of Chiang Wen-sheng, in Fongyuan, Taichung to the warm welcome of the Chiang family members, including former Government Information Office Minister Johnny Chiang who is now running for a legislative seat, and former National Security Council (NSC) Deputy Secretary General Antonio Chiang during the administration of former President Chen Shui-bian. The place, originally an ancestral home of Chiang family, had been converted to a villa-like building. To welcome Ma, seniors of the Chiang family solicited an amulet from a temple. The amulet was presented to Ma by Antonio Chiang's 91-year-old mother. "I'm touched to receive the amulet," Ma said, adding that "peace and wellbeing should be the simple and sincere wish of every Taiwanese on the island," he said. Ma said that he would keep the goodwill in mind, and would continue to work hard for the nation and the people. Chiang's family is widely believed to be leaning toward opposition camp. Antonio Chiang, Johnny Chiang's uncle, has continued to write articles on politics and current events after leaving the NSC. Chiang Wen-sheng, the younger brother of Antonio Chiang, has grown oranges and persimmons for two generations. Reports have said that Chiang would convey the voice of the farmers after the recent price plunge of pears and persimmons in Taichung and would express the hope that the government attach importance to fruit marketing system. A local newspaper cited political figures in Taichung to describe Ma's home stay as a "penetration into the enemy's camp," but Chiang family said that it has not made special preparations for hosting Ma. The United Evening News said Chiang's family was the 99th host family that Ma will have stayed since 2007 under a similar program to forge closer links with the people. Citing Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi, the paper said that the home stay is mainly to have contacts with farmers, and that Ma will stay at the dormitory of National University of Kaohsiung on Sunday. Combined with the 98 host families under a similar program in the last presidential election, Ma will reach the 100th host family goal,the report said. (By Cheng Ching-ping and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-08-01 21:09 GMT+08:00