Sun, Apr 06, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Diana Chen draws attention at academy

STAFF WRITER

The Ketagalan Academy (凱達格蘭學校) received 200 applications for the 40 places available in the academy's first course.

The most prominent of the 40 participants is China Development Financial Holding Corp's acting chairwoman Diana Chen (陳敏薰).

Some of the other participants were overjoyed to learn that she would be their classmate.

During a 15-minute break in the academy's first lesson yesterday, Chen was peppered with questions from the media about her participation in the academy.

Her inquisitors asked such questions as "What did you feel while attending the lesson?", "What drove you to enroll in the academy?'' and so forth.

Speculation has swirled around Chen, with some suggesting that her attendance of the academy is a move to establish political links to the ruling party in an attempt to save her job.

Several media reports implied that the government planned to replace her, although the reports did not name any potential sucessors.

Chen's father, Chen John-yi (陳重義) and her uncle, Chen Ming-hsiang (陳明祥), reportedly have been in constant contact with the DPP leadership in an effort to save her job.

Chen has consistently denied such speculation, stressing that she was attending the institue out of personal interest and that there was no connection to her job.

In a speech delivered on behalf of all academy students at the opening ceremony last month, Chen said the reason she had decided to join the institute was her many fond memories of the area in which the academy is situated, including her primary school and Tihua Street.

Apart from Chen, the other students from local industries are all DPP supporters. Among them, a report in a Chinese-language newpaper said that Cheng Pao-ching (鄭寶清), chairman of Taiwan Salt Industrial Corp is a member of the DPP's Justice Alliance faction (正義連線).

The report went on to say that Huang Hsu-hung (黃旭宏), chairman and chief executive officier of Sunnet, in the past has assisted the DPP during elections, while Chang Shun-lang (張順浪), vice president of Medigen Biotechnology Corp, is a DPP member from Hualien.

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