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President's nephew helps with rescue of kidnapped woman
Central News Agency
2013-12-21 10:59 PM
Taipei, Dec. 21 (CNA) A nephew of President Ma Ying-jeou helped with the rescue of a Taiwanese woman kidnapped by armed attackers in Malaysia in mid-November, it was disclosed Saturday. Yu Ching, the son of President Ma's younger sister Ma Li-chun, was present at a news conference held after Chang An-wei's safe return to Taipei Saturday, which marked an end to her 35-day hostage ordeal. Yu, a former commanding officer of the United States Army Special Force, better known as Green Berets, was in Taipei to promote the Chinese version of his book "Yellow Green Beret" when Chang was abducted by armed gunmen from a villa on the resort island of Pom Pom off the East Malaysian state of Sabah Nov. 15. After learning that Chang had been taken to a southern Philippine island, Yu took the initiative to contact Chang's family and offered to help with her rescue, according to Chang's brother, Chang Ta-kung. "Yu used his personal connections to help secure the release of my sister," Chang Ta-kung said in an interview with CNA Friday. Yu kept a low profile at Saturday's news conference and did not make any statements. Responding to reporters' insistent questions after the news conference, Yu said he was very happy that Chang An-wei had returned safely. Yu, 34, was born and grew up in the United States. He entered the U.S. Military Academy, better known as West Point, at the age of 17. He graduated shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was first assigned to the armored brigade and served in South Korea. After two years of tough tests, he became a Green Berets commanding officer. In a recent interview in a local TV program, Yu said he was first posted in an Okinawa military base after becoming a Green Berets officer. During his 40-month service there, he took part in combat missions four times, including one in 2006 that attacked a base of terrorist group Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants on a remote Philippine island. Chang An-wei was under the group's control when she was held in the Philippine island province of Sulu. Yu recalled that he had carried out many anti-terrorist combat missions in Iraq and the Philippines during his 12-year service in the U.S. military, during which he won two Bronze Star medals. The Bronze Star Medal is the fourth-highest individual military award and the ninth-highest by order of precedence in the U.S. Military, according to Wikipedia. After retirement from military service, Yu came to Taiwan to study Chinese. During the period, he began to write about his experiences in the U.S. military and posted them on his blog. His writings drew much acclaim. In 2011, Yu published those writings in three volumes out of his own pockets by his pen name "Chester Wong." The Chinese edition of the first volume was launched in Taipei earlier this month. The Presidential Office would not make any comment on Yu's role in the rescue of Chang An-wei. Presidential Office deputy spokeswoman Ma Wei-kuo just said that President Ma was gratified with Chang's safe return. "President Ma was concerned about Chang's safety and had directed relevant government agencies to deal with the case and ensure Chang's safety," she added. (By Liu Chien-pang, Lee Shu-hua and Sofia Wu)
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