Wed, Nov 18, 2015 - Page 1 News List

KMT revives Chen plagiarism claim

By Chen Hui-ping and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, staff writer, with CNA

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Chiu Yi, right, and current KMT lawmakers yesterday hold a news conference in Taipei to criticize former Academia Sinica vice president Chen Chien-jen for alleged plagiarism in 2007.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday attacked former Academica Sinica vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) running mate, for alleged plagiarism in a paper he co-authored in 2007.

KMT caucus deputy whip Alicia Wang (王育敏) said that Chen, who was National Science Council deputy director at the time, had been “protected” by Tsai, who was vice premier at the time, and did not have to resign his post.

Wang said Chen and Tsai owed the public an explanation, given that former Council of Agriculture minister Peng Tso-kwei (彭作奎), former deputy minister of defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖) and former minister of education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) all resigned from their posts because of plagiarism allegations.

“If Tsai becomes president, is she going to select more political appointees of this kind for the Cabinet? Will she hold political appointees to a higher moral standard?” Wang said.

Former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) said the medical journal Cancer found out in January 2007 that a paper Chen co-authored with then-National Taiwan University Hospital vice president Yang Pan-chyr (楊泮池) and another doctor at the hospital had plagiarized other material.

Yang issued an apology and resigned, but Chen claimed not to have read the paper, Chiu said.

“Tsai Ing-wen really likes plagiarizers when she is picking vice-presidential candidates,” KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) said, noting that former Council of Agriculture chairman Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), Tsai’s running mate in the 2012 poll, had also been accused of plagiarism in his masters’ thesis.

Tsai said that the Cancer incident arose from a citation error that the principal author made in the manuscript, which was discovered by the journal’s evaluating committee and amended by the author prior to the paper’s publication.

“If there was plagiarism, an internationally renowned and authoritative publication such as Cancer would never have published the paper,” she said. “The KMT has always tried to play up partisanship, reports of scandals and blackmail at the end of an election cycle. This is a bad practice.”

Her staff were aware of the allegation against Chen and had already investigated it, she said.

Noting that a Facebook account purporting to belong to Chen appeared on Monday immediately after Tsai’s announcement of her running mate, Tsai said: “It is better to act with honesty and integrity in elections. Little tricks like these are hardly necessary and with only two months left to go, I hope we can all work together to keep this classy.”

Chen also responded to the KMT’s allegations, saying “flawed sentence construction in English” was responsible for the error in the Cancer story and that he was “disappointed” that the KMT has “yet again resorted to negative campaigning.”

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