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Dr. Lien Chan Delivers Lectures on "China-Taiwan Cross Strait Relations”; Visits with NYU and NYU-Poly

Dr. Lien Chan, former vice president of Republic of China in Taiwan and honorary chairman of the Kuomintang Party (KMT) spoke on "Cross-Strait Relations" at the Council on Foreign Relations' Winston Lord Roundtable on Asia and U.S. Foreign Policy on April 13. The talk was moderated by the renowned China expert, Professor Jerome Cohen, co-director of NYU's U.S. Asia Law Institute.

In the afternoon, Dr. Lien gave a public speech entitled "China-Taiwan Cross Strait Relations-Retrospect and Prospect" at NYU Law School, organized by Professor Xudong Zhang, director of NYU's China House; Professor David Chang, chancellor of NYU-Poly; and Professor Cohen. Dr. Lien shared with over 400 attendees his historical perspective on the events that led to his "ice-breaking journey" to China to meet with President Hu Jing-Tao in 2005. He was the first KMT chairman to visit the mainland since his government relocated to Taiwan in 1949 when the KMT lost a war to the Communist Party of China (CPC) and fled to Taiwan. Dr. Lien articulated that the collaboration between China and Taiwan can benefit people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and that the resulting talks led to the unprecedented warming of the cross strait relations in recent years. Chancellor Chang praised the courageous and visionary statesman, saying "Dr. Lien was both outspoken and insightful in analyzing the dynamics between China, Taiwan and the U.S." Lien's talk sparked interest from the press in China, generating articles and online commentary.

President Jerry M. Hultin hosted a dinner in honor of Dr. Lien Chan's visit. "I am honored that Dr. Lien Chan chose to spend time with us and at New York University," said President Hultin. "We were able to take full advantage of Dr. Lien's visit and had the privilege of welcoming him back to NYU-Poly as an honorary alumnus. It's not often a university president gets to intimately brainstorm with a statesman of his stature and accomplishment."

In his remarks, Dr. Lien expressed his deepest appreciation for his honorary degree from NYU-Poly and for the warm welcome he received upon returning to campus. Among the honored dinner guests at the University Club, were Lien's wife, Fang-Yu Lien; Ambassador Andrew Kao, director general in charge of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in NYC; and Ambassador Stephen Chen, retired representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.

Dr. Lien earned a BS in Political Science at National Taiwan University in 1957, an MS in 1961 and a PhD in Political Science in 1965, both from the University of Chicago, and an honorary doctorate of laws from Polytechnic University (now Polytechnic Institute of NYU) in 1996.