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.
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.
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.