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Sun, Apr 30, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Tang Fei returns to the political fray

HIGH SPIRITS The premier-designate has denied rumors he is tired of his position and has sought to clear the air on a recent row over personnel appointments


Accompanied by new Cabinet officials, Premier-designate Tang Fei, second from left, walks out of Veterans' General Hospital in Taipei yesterday.


A rested and refreshed Premier-designate Tang Fei (唐飛) yesterday refuted rumors that he was already "tired of" his new job at a press conference as he left the hospital yesterday.

Tang Fei has been at Veterans General Hospital for two weeks to recover from an operation to remove a benign tumor from his chest.

During the press conference Tang announced appointments of two Cabinet posts: Lin Chun-yi (林俊義), professor at the Department of Biology, Tunghai University, who will become the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Administration, and Hsu I-shiung (許義雄), the Director of the Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal University, who will take the position of head of the National Sports Council.

Lin, 62, graduated with a BA in English from National Taiwan University (台灣大學) and a doctorate in ecology from the University of Indiana in the US, and was once a research fellow for the Committee on Science under the House of Representatives as well as a former chairman of Taiwan Greenpeace. (綠色和平組織)

During President-elect Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) tenure as Taipei City Mayor, Lin was director of the Bureau of Environmental Protection (環保局) under the city government.

The appointment of Lin was reportedly welcomed by environmental activists. National Taiwan University professor Hsu Kuang-jung (徐光蓉) said Lin was the best person to take over the post, and she hoped Lin would review the environmental impact of the controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Station. Lin is currently in Chicago for a research project on environmental ethics.

Hsu, 51, has dedicated his career to physical education. He was the convener who lead the drafting of the NSC's "White Paper on the Physical Education in the ROC (中華民國體育白皮書)."

Hsu once presented an essay -- revealing how he expected Taiwan's physical education to develop -- in a nationwide conference.

He proposed making physical education a central government-level issue, encouraged research into problems facing professional athletes, and suggested new ways that physical education could help people improve their personal lives.

Later yesterday, Chen also announced the appointment of Lee Ming-liang (李明亮), the President of the Tzu Chi College of Medicine and Humanities, as the Director-general of the Department of Health.

Lee, aged 65, graduated from National Taiwan University's College of Medicine. While a student there, Lee used to play the violin for elderly mainlanders who worked at the school's cafeteria.

Later, he studied hereditary diseases and chromosome abnormality at the pediatrics department of Rochester University in the US. Lee remained in New York between 1963-1992.

Lee has made great contributions in the field of human genetics studies and is regarded as a preeminent scholar in the area. Lee also spent two years teaching and researching at Cambridge University, one of the few scholars in Taiwan who has studied in both places.

Lee was invited by Master Cheng Yen upon his return to Taiwan to preside over the establishment Tzu Chi University and has been the president of Tzu Chi College of Medicine and Humanities.

According to his friends and colleagues, Lee is a straightforward and honest scholar who has devoted himself entirely to academic studies.

During the past week, local media reports have claimed Tang was having disagreements with Chen over the lineup of the new Cabinet and was already growing "tired" of his future post even before he stepped into office.

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