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Chen Che-nan

Chen Che-nan is a Taiwanese politician. He served in the Legislative Yuan from 1987 to 1994. Born in 1941 during Japanese rule, Chen was an elementary school teacher prior to a career in politics. In the 1970s, Chen began his political career in the Kaohsiung City Government, he was elected to the Legislative Yuan for the first time in 1986, stepped down in 1994, in the midst of a term. Chen served the Taipei City Government and mayor Chen Shui-bian in multiple positions, until joining the ROC Presidential Office in 2000, where he continued advising Chen Shui-bian. Chen was expelled from the Kuomintang on 2 December 1992, after becoming critical of party leaders, his expulsion from the party happened in the midst of a legislative election, but occurred too late for the KMT to pull their support of him. Listed on the ballot as a KMT candidate for Kaohsiung, he took office nonetheless. Despite expulsion, Chen's vote share was still allocated to the KMT for the purposes of determining party list proportional representation.

He joined the Democratic Progressive Party the next year. Businessman Chen You-hao named Chen Che-nan as one of the people who helped Chen Shui-bian solicit donations for Chen Shui-bian's 1998 Taipei mayoral campaign and the 2000 presidential campaign. In a separate case involving black gold politics, Chen Che-nan was found to have used his political influence to secure favorable court rulings for businessman Liang Po-hsun; the Taipei District Court ruled in December 2006. An appeal to the Taiwan High Court shortened the sentence to nine years. A retrial of the Liang–Chen case was heard by the Taiwan High Court in 2010. Presiding judge Tseng ter-shui convicted Chen of fraud, a lesser charge that reduced Chen's sentence to seven months imprisonment, again appealed. Chen Heng-kuan, one of three High Court judges to hear the case, considered resigning his position; the same court ruled in March 2013. The Supreme Court reduced Chen's sentence by one year in November 2014. Chen began serving the seven-year prison sentence in Kaohsiung weeks later.

He was released on parole in October 2017. Chen Che-nan was involved in the 2005 Kaohsiung MRT foreign workers scandal; this led to his expulsion from the Democratic Progressive Party that year. Chen lost an Order of Brilliant Star, awarded in 2002, an Order of Propitious Clouds, awarded in 2004; as a further consequence of the scandal, Chen left his post as national policy adviser. In 2007, the Kaohsiung District Court dropped all corruption charges against Chen

Tashkurgan

Tashkurgan is a town in the far south west of China, close to the borders of Tajikistan and Pakistan. It is the principal town and seat of Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County, in the autonomous region of Xinjiang. Tashkurgan means "Stone Fortress" or "Stone Tower" in the Turkic languages; the historical Chinese name for the town was a literal translation. The official spelling is Taxkorgan, while Tashkorgan and Tashkurghan appear in literature; the town's name is written in the Uyghur Arabic alphabet as تاشقۇرغان and in the Uyghur Latin alphabet Tashqurghan baziri. The town was called Sarikol or Sariqol or the traditional spelling. Tashkurgan has a long history as a stop on the Silk Road. Major caravan routes converged here leading to Kashgar in the north, Yecheng to the east and Wakhan to the west, Chitral and Hunza to the southwest. About 2000 years ago, during the Han dynasty, Tashkurgan was the main centre of the Kingdom of Puli mentioned in the Book of Han and the Book of the Later Han, it became known as Varshadeh.

Mentions in the Weilüe of the Kingdom of Manli also refer to Tashkurgan. Some scholars believe that a "Stone Tower" mentioned by Ptolemy and by other early accounts of travel on the Silk Road refers to this site; this tower is said to have marked the midway point between China. Other scholars, disagree with this identification, though it remains one of the four most probable sites for the Stone Tower. Many centuries Tashkurgan became the capital of the Sarikol kingdom, a kingdom of the Pamir Mountains, of Qiepantuo under the Persian Empire. At the northeast corner of the town is a huge fortress known as the Princess Castle dating from the Yuan dynasty and the subject of many colourful local legends. A ruined fire temple is near the fortress; the Buddhist monk Xuanzang passed through Tashkurgan around 649 CE, on his way to Khotan from Badakhshan, as did Song Yun around 500 CE. When Aurel Stein passed through the town in the early twentieth century he was pleased to find that Tashkurgan matched the descriptions left by those travellers: discussing Qiepantuo, Xuanzang recorded, "This country is about 200 li in circuit.

It is about 20 li in circuit." Xuanzang's discussion of Qiepantuo in book twelve of Great Tang Records on the Western Regions recounts a tale which might explain the name of the Princess Castle: A Han Chinese princess on her way to marry a Persian king is placed on a high rock for safety during local unrest. She becomes pregnant from a mysterious stranger giving birth to a powerful king and founding the royal line ruling at the time of Xuanzang's visit. Stein records a version of this, current at the time of his visit, in which the princess is the daughter of the Persian king Naushīrvān. Aurel Stein argued that, judging from the topography and remains found around Tashkurgan, the fort and associated settlements had been central to the broader Sarikol area, controlling routes from the Oxus to the oases of southern Turkestan. Xuanzang describes a substantial Buddhist site with tall towers, leading Stein to speculate as to whether the pilgrimage site dedicated to Shāh Auliya, several hundred yards to the northeast of the town site, in use at the time of his visit, might have seen continuous but changing local use as a holy site down the centuries.

In Tashkurgan there is a museum that houses a few local artifacts, a photographic display and, in the basement, two mummies – one of a young woman about 18 and another of a baby about three months old, not hers. They are labelled as dating from the Bronze Age to the Warring States period; the mummies were discovered in the nearby Xiabandi Valley on the old caravan route to Yarkand. The valley has now been flooded for a hydro-electric project. Tashkurgan is the seat of Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County, it is situated at an altitude of 3,090 metres on the borders of both Afghanistan and Tajikistan, close to the borders of Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan. Tashkurgan is a market town for sheep and woollen goods carpets, is surrounded by orchards; the majority population in the town are ethnic Mountain Tajiks. The majority of people in the region speak Sarikoli. There is a village of Wakhi speakers. Standard Chinese and Uyghur are spoken; the Tashkurgan River begins just north of the Khunjerab Pass and flows north along the Karakoram Highway to Tashkurgan.

Just north of Tashkurgan it turns east and flows through a gorge to the Tarim Basin where it joins the Yarkand River. Tashkurgan has a cold desert climate, influenced by the high elevation, with long cold winters, warm summers. Monthly daily average temperatures range from −11.9 °C in January to 16.4 °C in July, while the annual mean is 3.58 °C. An average of only 68 millimetres of precipitation falls per year. Today Tashkurgan is on the Karakoram Highway which follows the old Silk Road route from China to Pakistan. Accommodation is available and it is a recommended overnight stop for road travellers from China to Pakistan, in order to have the best chance of crossing the snow-prone Khunjerab Pass in daylight. Special registration with the police must be made before entering Tashkurgan, Chinese citizens must receive written permission from their local police department before entering the region. Travelling from Xinjiang