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Defense minister quits over plagiarism accusation

2013/08/06 23:21:56

Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) Defense Minister Andrew Yang tendered his resignation Tuesday, only his sixth day in the post, over accusations of plagiarism in a book published in 2007.

Yang called a news conference late in the evening to make the announcement and explain his mistake in compiling the book "Ready for the D-Day."

Ministry of National Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he received media inquiries earlier in the day on an article in the book that a local scholar said was plagiarized, Yang said.

However, Yang said that article, which appeared under his name, was actually written by his former colleague, who is dead.

After looking into the information provided by the scholar, Yang found that the article did indeed contain plagiarized parts of a story run by a magazine in China, which was translated from an article written by a foreign scholar.

"This is my personal mistake and I apologize for it," Yang said.

Before calling the news conference, Yang met with President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Jiang Yi-huah to report on the issue and tender his resignation.

His resignation was accepted by the president and Vice Defense Minister Kao Kuang-chi will serve as acting defense minister until a new minister is named, said Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li.

Yang, a former deputy defense minister, took over the ministry's top post Aug. 1 after former Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu stepped down over the death of an Army conscript who was allegedly abused while in military rig.

The incident has sullied the image of the country's military, and Yang said he felt sorry that his personal mistake has further affected the image of the military. He expressed hope that his resignation will help restore the public's support for the country's armed forces.

Yang also thanked his colleagues in the military during his three years and 11 months in the ministry.

(By Elaine Hou)