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Vincent Chang and MAC differ on story behind resignation
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-08-18 07:29 PM
Vincent Chang Hsien-yao, who stepped down last week as the principal deputy minister of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), is disputing the official statement given out by MAC regarding his reasons for leaving his post. In a statement handed out to reporters at a noon press conference Monday, Chang said that he had been "told to resign" by the council on August 14, two days before the Executive Yuan claimed on August 16 that Chang had offered to resign “for family reasons.”

Earlier on Monday, MAC released a statement that did little to clarify the issues surrounding Chang’s departure from the council. MAC spokesperson Wu Mei-hung said that the council’s original citing of family matters as the reason for his resignation had been put forth to protect Chang and avoid damaging his reputation.

Wu denied rumors that Chang had been pressured to leave because of security lapses that occurred in June during a visit to Taiwan by Zhang Zhijun, head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, when Zhang and his entourage were surrounded by paint-throwing anti-Chinese protesters in Kaohsiung. Wu said only that Chang had stepped down pending an administrative investigation into matters related to his work.

Chang had been silent following the August 16 statement from the Executive Yuan announcing that he would be stepping down, which also listed several changes being made at the deputy ministerial level in MAC.

But Chang’s later statements claimed, "If my superiors do not need me, I can accept that," suggesting that he had been forced out of office. Asked why, he would only say it was "because of some doubts that remain to be clarified."

Chang was appointed the MAC's second highest ranking official in September 2013, and in February this year he assumed the posts of vice chairman and secretary general of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), the organization responsible for the conduct of relations with China in the absence of official ties.

On Monday MAC rejected speculation that Chang had been replaced last week because of conflict with Minister Wang Yu-chi. Wang himself came forward to praise Chang for the work he did on behalf of MAC, saying he and Chang had enjoyed a mutually respectful working relationship.

Wu Mei-hung also said that Wang and Chang had shown respect for each other at work and that the reports of discord between them were "absolutely not true."

MAC officials added that Wang had tried but failed to persuade Chang to change his mind about leaving the council.

A different version of the story, however, surfaced Sunday when Chang sent a text message to reporters saying that he had been "told to resign" on August 14. He said he was happy to leave if his services were no longer needed while adding that he has always been loyal and dutiful in his work for the council.

Chang emphasized his words and deeds while at MAC, noting that he had complied fully with the instructions of the President Ma Ying-jeou, the secretary-general of the National Security Council and the chairman of MAC. He accused the MAC of changing the reasons behind his resignation and said that any investigation into his actions at MAC would be pointless and wrong. He urged the council not to do or say anything that would be hurtful to itself or to anyone else.

Chang noted that during his tenure at MAC he has been totally dedicated to his mission. He said that as a subordinate of the president he felt a duty to do all he could for the country, but if he was no longer needed he could also readily accept that, and he thanked MAC and his SEF colleagues for the hard work they did and for all the support he received from his friends.

The Executive Yuan’s August 16 statement noted that Chang’s position at MAC will be taken over by administrative vice-chairman Lin Tsu-chia, who offers “expertise and experience that will be invaluable to the council in its future operations.”

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