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Culture minister resigns; says first mission accomplished (update)

2014/12/01 21:05:27

Taipei, Dec. 1 (CNA) Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai said Monday that she has decided to resign and will not return to her post as minister following the Cabinet's en masse resignation.

"I am filled with gratitude," Lung said at a press conference in which she thanked her co-workers and people from the cultural and business sectors for their hard work and support over the past three years.

She said that her ministry has accomplished its "first mile" of work and that she is confident a solid foundation has been laid for the future development of the country's culture and arts.

That includes the establishment of a board of directors for the Public Television Service (PTS); the launch of the National Performing Arts Center and the Taiwan Film Institute; and the planned inauguration of the Taiwan Xiqu Center and a national photography and cultural center, Lung said.

The ministry has also drawn up five laws and drafted amendments to four laws, she said.

The five laws promote museum development, protect underwater cultural heritage sites, define national cultural development principles and establish both the National Performing Arts Center and a cultural and creative development institute.

The amendments were drafted to laws governing the PTS, motion pictures, cultural heritage preservation and culture and arts subsidies.

Though Lung's announcement came after Premier Jiang Yi-huah led his Cabinet to resign en masse Monday in the wake of the ruling Kuomintang's crushing defeat in Saturday's local government elections, she stressed that she had tendered her resignation prior to the nationwide polls.

Lung said there were two main factors leading her to resign as chief of the Ministry of Culture, which was formally upgraded from the Council for Cultural Affairs in 2012.

The writer-turned-minister felt that her goal to put the new ministry on strong footing "has been accomplished," and she wanted to spend more time with her aging mother.

"I am satisfied with the Ministry of Culture's first mile of work...In the next stage, I hope to spend a lot of time with my mother in the last mile of her life," Lung said.

She will also return to her role as a writer after stepping down as minister, she said.

Lung's resignation attracted media attention as she was considered to be one of the more popular Cabinet members.

She was a renowned essayist and cultural critic in the Chinese-language community and a top-selling writer before being appointed to her government post in 2012.

(By Christie Chen)
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