Taipei, President Tsai Ing-wen (???) on Friday visited Yuhuang Temple in Pingtung City, where she greeted other worshipers and distributed red envelopes in celebration of the Lunar New Year of the Dog.
When Tsai arrived at the temple in southern Taiwan, more than 1,000 people were already waiting in long lines to welcome her.
She was accompanied by Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (???), Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-an (???) and several legislators of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.
Asked whether she was planning to proceed to her hometown of Fengkang in Pingtung County, Tsai said she would return there sometime after the Lunar New Year holiday when the traffic would be less congested.
Earlier in the day, Tsai also visited Tianhou Temple in Taitung City and handed out red envelopes to a crowd of 3,000 to 4,000 people who were waiting to see her.
It was the first time that a sitting president had distributed Lunar New Year red envelopes in Taitung.
Meanwhile, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (???) traveled to Hualien County, which was hard hit on Feb. 6 by a 6.0-magnitude earthquake that killed 17 people and injured 282.
Chen said that on behalf of President Tsai, he was extending good wishes to the displaced survivors, many of whom were being housed in hotels, and to assure them of the government's concern for their wellbeing.
The previous night, on Lunar New Year's Eve, Tsai went to the Buddhist organization Dharma Drum Mountain in New Taipei's Jinshan District to take part in the annual Dharma Bell Ringing Assembly, a ceremony that is believed to wipe away 108 kinds of problems and bring good luck and happiness to the whole country in the new year.
Tsai said she prayed for Taiwan and the victims of the Feb. 6 earthquake and promised to do her best to improve the country. "In 2018, we will work as hard as we did in 2017 to make Taiwan even better," she said.
Premier Lai Ching-te (???), former President Ma Ying-jeou (???) and Kuomintang Chairman Wu Den-yih (???) also took part in the bell ringing ceremony.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel