Former President of Taiwan Pays Visit to the Huntington

11-Nov-2017 Intellasia | Sanmarino Tribune | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Immediate former Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou was in San Marino Tuesday morning on a visit to the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens at the invitation of Mayor Dr Richard Sun.

It was Ma’s second time in the city since his 1999 visit to the Chinese Club of San Marino. He arrived in Los Angeles on November 4 for his third overseas trip following the end of his presidential term in May of 2016.

Ma’s first stop Tuesday was to visit Sun’s mother, who is a well-known educator in Taiwan and close friends with the former president’s mother. They enjoyed fruit and conversation before continuing on to The Huntington for a tour, arriving just after 8:30 a.m.

The group shuttled straight over to the Huntington’s Chinese Garden where Sun, Ma, Huntington officials and guests paused for a cup of tea and a tour of the tranquil Garden of Flowing Fragrance, where Steve Hindle, the Huntington’s Acting President and W.M. Keck Foundation director of Research, presented Ma with a gift and Phillip Bloom, director for the centre of East Asian Studies and Curator of the Chinese Garden, detailed points of interest throughout the garden.

They continued through the gardens in a loop toward the Huntington Library where Li Wei Yang, Curator of Pacific Rim collections, showed Ma the Yongle Dadian, a copied volume of an encyclopedia transcribed in the 1560s, the first Latin edition of Marco Polo’s travel account to China, the first European printed book to feature sample Chinese characters, papers of You Chung Y.C. Hong, one of the first Chinese Americans to pass the California state bar exam in 1923, and papers of Hong Yen Chang, who campaigned for his law license in 1887 and had a successful career as a banker and diplomat.

Ma then presented several books to Randy Shulman, the Huntington’s vice President for Advancement. The gift included an edition of simplified and traditional Chinese Ma said was part of his platform when he was running for president, a book Ma wrote during his presidency, a book he wrote as mayor of Taipei city, an account of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and of the Second World War.

Ma also gifted bags of Sunny Hills pineapple cakes, as he joked: “this is not for reading.”

The procession then traveled to Oneonta Congressional Church in South Pasadena, where Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic of China, stayed for two-and-a-half weeks with Charles Boothe in 1910, then the mayor of South Pasadena, who owned a mansion on the Oneonta Congregational Church site. There, Sun Yat-sen personally planted a magnolia tree and reportedly, a sycamore tree, and prayed in the chapel, all of which were visited Tuesday by Ma and Sun.

They posed for a few photos before Ma left for a roundtable forum held by the Pacific Council on International Policy. He boarded a plane heading back to Taiwan that evening.

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Category: Taiwan

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