Philanthropist brings his charity to Taiwan

13:59, January 28, 2011      

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Chen Guangbiao speaks as his charity trip starts in Hsinchu, southeast China's Taiwan, Jan. 27, 2011. The Chinese mainland's most famous philanthropist went to Taiwan Wednesday with 110 million yuan (about 17.2 million U.S. dollars, or about 500 million new Taiwan dollars) to be used for charitable donations. (Xinhua/Song Lidong)

A mainland tycoon on a charity tour of Taiwan gave NT$70,000 ($2,420) to an elderly woman who had been waiting for him at his hotel in Taipei, media reported on Thursday.

Chen Guangbiao, China's most famous philanthropist, is touring the island to express his gratitude for its help to the mainland in natural disasters. Along the way, he is distributing hongbao, or red packets of gift money, to the poor to help them celebrate the Spring Festival.

Following his breakfast at the Grand Hotel on Thursday, he gave the needy woman NT$50,000 cash in a red envelope. After she said her mother had gone blind, he handed her another NT$20,000, Central News Agency reported.

Chen, president of Jiangsu Huangpu Renewable Resources Company who made his fortune from recycling, brought NT$500 million to give to charities during his tour of Taiwan.

Leading a delegation of more than 50 entrepreneurs from the mainland on a weeklong tour of nine counties and cities, Chen arrived on the island on Wednesday night and on Thursday paid a visit to Hsinchu in northern Taiwan.

While he was there, he handed out NT$10,000 each to people in need and made a grant of NT$6.57 million to the county government, local media reported on Thursday.

Prior to his trip, the 42-year-old tycoon wrote on his micro blog that he wanted to show his gratitude to the people of Taiwan for lending a hand in the past when the mainland was struck by natural disasters.

In addition to bringing good wishes to Taiwan for the Spring Festival, Chen said his visit was intended to share the experience of philanthropy across the Straits.

His controversial trip has already triggered mixed reactions, with some Taiwan officials claiming that it is inappropriate for him to distribute cash handouts to the poor and undignified for the recipients.

However, 64 percent of the 14,959 respondents polled by the mainland's website said on Thursday that they supported Chen's charity tour of the island.

Eighty percent of the respondents also said they did not see any problem in Chen personally giving cash to the needy, provided that all parties were happy with the arrangement.

During an earlier interview, Chen said he planned to make a philanthropic visit to Taiwan an annual event in his schedule.

He also expressed his desire to do business on the island by recycling its waste, promising to give 60 percent of the net profit he makes from the concern to charity in Taiwan.

Source: China Daily
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