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Taiwan's oldest person dies aged 115

2014/01/13 17:53:48

Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) A woman identified as Taiwan's oldest person died of heart and lung failure early Monday at Puli Christian Hospital in central Taiwan. She was 115.

The Nantou County government said Ministry of the Interior statistics showed that the woman, named Liu Ching-huan, and another woman surnamed Lin in Hualien had reached the age of 115. But Lin died several months ago, leaving Liu as the oldest person in Taiwan.

The county government said Liu was born in 1899 in Sichuan, southwestern China, and later moved to Taiwan. After her husband died, she converted to Buddhism, entering a Buddhist temple in 1965 and later becoming a nun.

In 2010, the county government arranged for her to enter a government-funded center for the elderly so that she could be taken care of.

Liu spent much of her time reciting Buddhist mantras. When asked about the secret of her longevity, she would suggest to people to recite Buddhist teachings, which she said would add to one's blessings.

A longtime vegetarian, she also advised people to eat only to the point where they were 70 percent full.

Liu was described as being polite to others and still capable of seeing and hearing clearly in the last years of her life.

Her main limitation was weakness in her legs, and she had to rely on a wheelchair to get around.

According to the center, Liu had developed shortness of breath over the past few days and was sent to Puli Christian Hospital for emergency treatment on Jan. 11.

Her condition was stable for a while, but her breathing gradually weakened, and she died naturally at 12:30 a.m. Monday.

(By Lin Heng-li and Lilian Wu)