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Backgrounder: ARATS chief Chen Yunlin

  BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) chief Chen Yunlin arrived in Taipei on Monday to start a five-day historic visit to Taiwan.

  Chen is the first ARATS chief who has visited Taiwan since the organization was founded in 1991.

  Born in Liaoning Province in 1941, Chen has worked in the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office for 14 years before he was elected ARATS chief in June.

  Chen graduated from the Beijing Agricultural University in 1967. He started work as a technician in a chemical factory in Qiqihar city, Heilongjiang Province and later was promoted as factory director.

  In 1981, he left the factory and started work in city government as director of Qiqihar City Economic Planning Committee. In 1983, he became mayor of Qiqihar.

  In 1984, he was appointed deputy secretary of the CPC provincial committee, and director of Commission for Restructuring the Economy of Heilongjiang Province.

  In 1987, he became vice governor of Heilongjiang Province and stayed at the post until he was appointed vice director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office in 1994. Three years later, he was promoted director of the office.

  Chen was a member of the 15th and 16th CPC Central Committee.

  He is fond of sports and reading Chinese classical literature, history and economic works.

  Chen is accompanied on his visit by his wife Lai Xiaohua.