Taiwan minister resigns in leak case aftermath

Taiwan minister resigns in leak case aftermath
Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Minister Wang Yu-chi.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi announced his resignation yesterday after the Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) concluded their investigation of former MAC Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao and two others without prosecution.

"I am doing what I think is right in order to safeguard our country," Wang said at a press conference after announcing his resignation.

When asked if he would consider staying, Wang said he has already made up his mind.

Lacked Criminal Intent

According to reports, prosecutors reasoned that Chang and the two suspects in question lacked criminal intent.

In a statement released by Wang, he said that although he respects the law, he does not agree with the result in Chang's case.

"Although I cannot agree with prosecutors' decision and reasoning, I will be taking the responsibility by resigning since the course of the case has caused a disturbance in society," Wang said.

The case's result has left him disappointed and feeling helpless, said Wang.

Evidence shows that Chang breached confidentiality, despite the prosecutors' decisions, Wang said.

Wang said that even though Chang has avoided being held accountable for his actions, as a government official who once held an important post related to cross-strait affairs, Chang clearly exceeded his due diligence.

Leaked Documents

Chang allegedly leaked classified state documents to a Taiwanese businessman who then passed them on to Chinese authorities.

Chang was removed from his position as a precautionary measure by the MAC.

Prosecutors questioned Chang and his assistants for over 12 hours in August 2014.

When responding to media last year, Wang said that regardless of whether Chang leaked secrets, as the chairman he would take on all of the responsibility.

Wang said that when he reported Chang's alleged crime to his superior, he had already vowed to hold himself liable.

For the sake of national security and the discipline of MAC team members, he would make the same resignation decision if circumstances repeated themselves, Wang said.

With the help of his colleagues, he was able to defend Taiwan's security and interests when communicating with China during his tenure, despite the hardships, Wang said.

Wang said he is thankful and honoured to have been given a chance to contribute to Taiwan's society as a public servant.

Outstanding Performance: Presidential Office

According to Presidential Office spokeswoman Ma Wei-kuo, President Ma Ying-jeou said Wang was an excellent minister for MAC who was more than competent in executing his duties.

Praising Wang's abilities, the spokeswoman cited the advancement of cross-strait relations as one of Wang's top achievements as MAC minister in the past two years.

The Presidential Office will investigate the decision in Chang's case in depth before making a response, said the spokeswoman.

The spokeswoman said that the Presidential Office supports Wang's vision though refused to make further comments.

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