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China commemorates deceased Taiwanese poet

2017/12/15 18:11:22

CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 15 (CNA) China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) paid its condolences Friday on the death of renowned Taiwanese poet Yu Kwang-chung (余光中) and praised his long-term contributions to cultural exchanges between Taiwan and China.

"Yu's literary works, full of the nostalgia of broken family ties, such as the poem titled 'Homesickness,' voice hopes for the Chinese race and have long been popular among the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait," TAO spokesman An Fengshan (安峰山) told CNA in an e-mail.

The famous poem was selected as material in language textbooks for students receiving compulsory education in China, he noted.

"For many years, the poet supported cross-strait cultural exchanges and was firmly opposed to 'cultural Taiwan independence,'" An said. "We are saddened by his death."

Yu, born in China's Nanjing in 1928, died of pneumonia in Kaohsiung Thursday at the age of 89. Residing in the southern Taiwan port city since 1985, he had long taught at National Sun Yat-sen University. He was a professor emeritus of literature after retiring from the school.

He migrated to Taiwan in 1948 following the Chinese civil war and since then, devoted his life to writing poetry, prose, critical reviews and translations. He made his last public appearance at an event in October to celebrate his 60th wedding anniversary.

As a great figure who had an extensive influence in literary circles in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China, Yu has always described "China as my mother, Taiwan as my wife and Hong Kong as my lover."

His late mentor, Liang Shih-chiu (梁實秋), gave high praise to Yu's achievements in literature, saying that "his poems and prose are unequalled."

China's state television broadcaster CCTV and the People's Daily, the biggest newspaper group in China, also reported Yu's death and published articles to commemorate him.

(By Ozzy Yin and Flor Wang)
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