Sending CNY gifts, even to former President Chen, is customary: Hou You-yi

TAIPEI (The China Post) — New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said Wednesday that sending out gifts during the Chinese New Year’s holiday is “customary” after receiving backlash for giving gift boxes to former Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

In recent years, the New Taipei City Government has sent gift boxes containing special agricultural products produced in New Taipei City to representatives and distinguished guests during Chinese New Year.

Kaohsiung City Councilor Chen Chih-chung thanked Hou You-yi on Tuesday for his gift to former President Chen Shui-bian. (Photo courtesy of Chen Chih-chung /Facebook)

The controversy arose on Tuesday after Chen’s son posted a photo thanking Hou for his “New Year’s greetings” to his father “A-Bian” (Chen Shui-bian’s moniker), and wished Hou a prosperous new year as well.

After receiving criticism from social media users,  Hou justified his actions claiming that it’s human nature to express gratitude to senior officers through gifts during Chinese New Year.

Hou You-yi explained his actions during a press conference on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of NOWnews)

When questioned whether the move would anger Kuomintang (KMT, 國民黨) party members, Hou stressed that he always sends gifts to previous colleagues, friends and superiors during the holidays.