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September 24, 2017

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Ma visit to war hero's former residence stirs gratitude, regret

The China Post news staff -- President Ma expressed both gratitude and regret when paying tribute to the Nationalist Chinese war hero Sun Li-jen (孫立人) at the general's former residence in Taichung yesterday.

Accompanied by the general's sister Sun Pi-jen (孫璧人), daughter Sun Chung-ping (孫中平) and son Sun Tien-ping (孫天平), President Ma praised the general's war time accomplishments fighting the Japanese and the Communists in China as well as stopping Comminist China from taking over Taiwan after the Nationalist Chiang Kai-shek retreated to the island.

The army trained by General Sun was the unit deployed at Kinmen, an outlying island of Taiwan, when Communist China invaded it in 1949. Taiwan's subsequent victory, known as the Guningtou Victory, was considered a turning point in Taiwan-China relations for the next sixty years that offered the island-nation a rare chance to flourish both economically and politically.

Despite his achievement, the accusation of an alleged plot by his officers to topple Chiang, which the general denied, and his subsequent house arrest, had cast a shadow over his military career. Some details of the alleged plot and the trial still remain unclear. Over the years, however, the general's family members have said little in public and have not complained about the details of the trial, a fact that Ma said was commendable.

"The general's former house," now a museum in honor of the general, "would serve to preserve General Sun's dedication and love for his country," said Ma.

Ma also expressed his hope that, besides economic and political growth, a mature legal system in Taiwan would prevent the recurrence of what happened to General Sun and similar events such as the notorious "228 Massacre."

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