Taiwan's new defence minister quits after less than a week
TAIPEI (AP) - Taiwan’s newly appointed defence minister resigned on Tuesday over a plagiarism accusation after less than a week on the job, dealing another blow to the government of President Ma Ying-jeou and plunging the island’s military deeper into crisis.
Mr Andrew Yang, 58, told a late-night news conference that he accepted full responsibility for an article that a ghost writer prepared under his name in a 2007 book on China’s People’s Liberation Army that contained material lifted from another source.
''This is my mistake and I extend my apologies,” he said.
Mr Ma accepted the resignation.
Mr Yang took office on Aug. 1 after his predecessor resigned amid a furor over the death of a 24-year-old army conscript forced to perform a series of grueling exercises in searing heat while being held in a military brig.
The death of Hung Chung-chiu early last month just days before his discharge infuriated many people. An estimated 200,000 protesters took to the streets of Taipei on Saturday demanding military reforms.
Eighteen officers and non-commissioned officers, including a general, have been indicted in connection with the case.
Mr Yang was also tasked with implementing the military’s ambitious programme to transition to an all-volunteer force by 2015.