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Taiwan to Help War Vets Visit China

November 23, 1987|From Reuters

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Nationwide fund-raising campaigns were launched Sunday to help thousands of Taiwanese war veterans, homesick for China after 38 years of exile, to fulfill their dreams of having reunions with their relatives on the mainland.

The drives are organized by various groups, including members of Parliament, schools, business and industrial associations, organizers told reporters.

The funds will be offered to elderly retired soldiers--the remnants of the Chinese Nationalist army that fled to Taiwan from China in 1949 after being routed in a civil war by the Communists.

Kenneth Fan, president of the National Academy of Management, one of the sponsoring groups, said that up to 80,000 retired soldiers may visit China in the next few months. He said about 30,000 of them are poor and need financial assistance.

"The fund-raising drive is a show of love and sympathy towards the old soldiers from all walks of life in Taiwan," he said.

The first group of seven soldiers were given about $1,000 each on Sunday as their travel expenses. More funds will be given soon to other soldiers, Fan added.

The Red Cross, which is supervising the travel, said on Saturday that more than 10,000 retired soldiers have applied for travel.

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