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August 19, 2017

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Academic Nan Huai-chin reported dead in mainland

HONG KONG--A noted Confucian and Buddhism scholar and prominent writer who came to Taiwan in 1949 but lived in mainland China for the latter part of his life, died Saturday in Suzhou, in China's Jiangsu province, at the age of 94, an anonymous source said Sunday.

The source told CNA that staff at the Taihu Great Learning Center in Suzhou said that Nan Huai-chin, whose multidisciplinary knowledge had earned him the title of master scholar, had died. The school was founded by Nan in 2006.

School authorities declined to comment.

Nan was admitted to a hospital early this month suffering from pneumonia that was triggered by a bout of flu. The school issued a statement Sept. 20 that said Nan was ill, that he needed rest and that he did not want to be disturbed.

Various China-based media also reported Nan's death.

Born in Zhejiang province in 1918, Nan came to Taiwan in 1949 and taught at National Chengchi University, Chinese Culture University and Fu Jen Catholic University. He moved to the United States in the mid-1980s when former President Chiang Ching-kuo reportedly suspected him of possibly becoming the leader of a political group. He later moved to Hong Kong, until he returned to China in 2004.

With his mastery of Buddhist traditions, Confucian and Taoist theories and practices, Nan was influential among academic, business and political dignitaries in both Taiwan and China.

Chiang Su-hui, chairwoman of the Hong Kong-based CS Culture Foundation and a student of Nan, said his death is a loss for the country.

She said Nan was so influential that former Chinese President Jiang Zemin also likes to read his works.

A diplomat stationed in Hong Kong from another Asian country who declined to be named said that although Nan remained low-profile when he lived in Hong Kong, his influence spread across the academic and business fields in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

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