Lien Chan (连战) is a politician in Taiwan. He is the honorary chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party and also chairman of the Cross-Strait Peaceful Development Fund, a foundation on cross-Strait peaceful development.
Early life and education
Lien Chan was born in August 1936 in Xi'an, the capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. He was brought up in a rich family in Tainan, Taiwan. His ancestral home is Zhangzhou in Fujian Province.
His name means "fighting ceaselessly." It was given by his grandfather Lien Heng, a famous reformer, when China was under the threat of Japanese invasion.
In 1946, in the fourth year of his primary school education, Lien left the mainland for Taiwan with his mother. He earned a Bachelor's degree in political science in 1957 from National Taiwan University.
In 1959, Lien enrolled at the University of Chicago, where he received a Master of Arts in International Law and Diplomacy in 1961 and a PhD in political science in 1965.
Lien held assistant professorships in political science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1966 to 1967 and the University of Connecticut from 1967 to 1968. He returned to National Taiwan University in 1968 to serve as chairman of the Department of Political Science and of Graduate Institute of Political Science.
In 1965, Lien married former beauty contest champion Fang Yu, who is from a professor's family. The couple has two sons and two daughters.
Lien identifies himself with the 1992 Consensus reached in cross-strait negotiations that adheres to the one-China principle. He opposes "Taiwanese independence," advocates developing cross-strait relations and has worked for peace across the Taiwan Strait.
During his tenure, the KMT successfully pushed forward cross-Strait Spring Festival chartered flights for Taiwan businessmen on the mainland and sent a KMT delegation to visit the mainland around the end of March, in 2005. After the successful visit, Lien decided to accept the invitation of the CPC Central Committee to visit the mainland as KMT chairman.
Lien made his first breakthrough visit to the mainland in April 2005. His meeting with the then CPC leader Hu Jintao was the highest level exchange across the straits in six decades.
They reached a five point consensus, reaffirming that both the mainland and Taiwan belong to the same "China," and that the two sides would work together to oppose "Taiwan independence."
In October 2005, Lien made his second visit to the mainland, touring the city of Shenyang, the capital of northeast Liaoning Province.
In April 2006, Lien visited Beijing to attend the first Cross-Straits Economic Trade and Culture Forum. He met again with Hu Jintao at the forum, where both underscored the peaceful development of relations between the two sides.
In April 2010, Lien visited Shanghai to attend the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo.
In February 2013, Lien visited Beijing to meet with Xi Jinping, who had just been elected as new CPC leader. Lien pronounced a new "16 character principle" for cross-strait relations, which re-affirmed that there is only one China, maintain cross-strait peace, create mutually beneficial integration and contribute to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
On Feb. 18, 2014, Lien and 80 delegates from various sectors in Taiwan including businessman and politicians visited Beijing to meet with Xi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.