National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Medicine dean Yang Pan-chyr (楊泮池) yesterday was elected president of the university, beating five other candidates to the position, including one who, earlier in the day, faced tough questions from legislators over his alleged endorsement of the so-called “one China” principle.
The six candidates included former National Science Council minister Cyrus Chu (朱敬一) and NTU professor Yang Yong-bin (楊永斌).
Prior to the vote, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers had asked Yang Yong-bin to explain his views on China and his academic position in China.
Yang Yong-bin was named a fellow at the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in 2009, DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) told a press conference.
According to CAE regulations, the lawmaker said, nominees who come from Taiwan for a CAE fellowship are required to “have made a great contribution to the motherland” and sign a declaration of his or her recognition of the “one China” principle.
“Mr Yang. Have you ever signed such document and recognized that you are a People’s Republic of China [PRC] national?” Lee said.
Yang Yong-bin, 58, refuted the allegation yesterday afternoon, saying that he did not obtain PRC citizenship and that he did not actively pursue the fellowship, but was rather was named a CAE fellow, which is an honorary position.
The former president of National Yunlin University of Science and Technology said he has been a Taiwanese national all his life and urged lawmakers to not politicize the academic position.
Yang Yong-bin said he had disclosed his fellowship at the candidate presentation and had “nothing to hide.”