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PFP chairman reunites with mainland relatives
Updated: 2005-05-09 18:34

Chairman of the People First Party (PFP) James CY Soong met with his mainland relatives Monday in Xiangtan, central China's Hunan Province, after paying homage to his great grandfather and grandparents in Xiangtan's Juyu Village in the morning.

A tearful Soong hugged his uncle Song Yangzhao tightly, and Soong's wife and many of the relatives, including his cousins, shed tears while cherishing the first family reunion in 56 years.

Soong's mainland relatives presented to Soong a photo of his great grandfather and an ancestral jade plate to conclude the much anticipated gathering.

Earlier on Monday, the PFP leader addressed the Juyu villagers in local dialect and thanked them for greeting him whole-heartedly.

"I'm very excited to see a prosperous village that was destitute when I left in 1948," said Soong, calling himself a child being nurtured by Hunan rice and water of the local Xiangjiang River.

Soong bowed three times to the local audience, evoking stormy applause.

In the village, which was named after a tale of the capture of an 80-kg fish, villagers lined up by the village road in drizzle in the morning, holding banners which read "Welcome to home village, Mr. Soong!" and "Chu-yu, welcome back home!"

Hunan is the fourth leg of Soong's nine-day trip to the mainland, which started Thursday. He will also visit Beijing and meet Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, before going back to Taipei the coming Friday.

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