The University of London has reaffirmed that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) received a doctoral degree in 1984 and that her thesis was reviewed by two examiners.
“Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, who is now the president of Taiwan, was awarded a PhD in February 1984 following the submission and examination of her thesis by two examiners,” the university said in a statement.
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has an electronic copy of the thesis that can be accessed via an online thesis system, it said.
Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office via CNA
The LSE, founded in 1895, joined the University of London in 1900.
“While it remains unclear whether copies were deposited with the university’s library, that has no bearing on Dr. Tsai’s PhD, which was correctly awarded,” the university said.
The university categorically denied any allegations of wrongdoing or falsehood made against any member of staff in relation to the search for copies of the thesis.
“All University of London staff who have handled enquiries related to this thesis have done so with the utmost integrity,” it said.
Tsai’s academic credentials have been the subject of discussion on Taiwanese media since former political talk show host Dennis Peng (彭文正) raised the issue on Facebook in June 2019, when Tsai was seeking re-election.
Peng has repeatedly accused Tsai of never completing her dissertation for a doctoral degree in law from the LSE in 1984.
The president subsequently took legal action against Peng, National Taiwan University law professor emeritus Ho De-fen (賀德芬) and Hwan C. Lin (林環牆), an associate professor of economics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, after they said her academic credentials from the LSE were fraudulent.
In October 2019, the LSE issued a formal statement confirming that Tsai “was correctly awarded a PhD in Law in 1984.”
Peng was indicted by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on March 31 last year.
However, Ho and Lin were not indicted, as the office said that it did not find sufficient evidence that they had malicious intent, and wanted to denigrate Tsai and damage her reputation.
In November, the Taipei District Court issued a warrant for Peng’s arrest after he failed to appear for trial on July 28 and Oct. 20, after being subpoenaed.
The court in November ruled that the 60-year-old Peng was a flight risk, but only then discovered that he was in the US.
As a result, it released a circular order for his arrest based on Article 84 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法).
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