Former Defense Minister Chiang Chung-ling dies at 93

03/19/2015 10:32 AM

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Former Minister of Defense Chiang Chung-ling has died of heart failure at the age of 93, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced Thursday.

Chiang passed away early the previous day at Taipei Veterans General Hospital after being in a ward for the terminally ill for nearly seven weeks, the MND said in a Facebook post.

The retired three-star general and former Army commander was admitted to the hospital Jan. 30 for heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and infections, the MND said.

A ministry spokesman paid tribute to Chiang's contributions to the nationalization of Taiwan's armed forces and the revolution in the country's military affairs.

Chiang was defense minister from December 1994 to January 1999, when Taiwan was pushing for democratization under then President Lee Teng-hui.

During his career as a professional soldier, Chiang took part in the war against Japan's invasion of China and the Nationalist government's campaigns against communist rebellion.

After he stepped down as defense minister, Chiang served first as a senior adviser to the president and later as a vice chairman of the Kuomintang from 2000 to 2003, when the party was the main opposition party.

He was born in China's Zhejiang Province in 1922.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Jay Chen)ENDITEM/J

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