‘A conflict of interest no more’: science minister says he’s given up his science projects

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Science Minister Chen Liang-gee said Thursday that he had stepped down as the head of two research projects subsidized by his ministry in accordance to regulations. Chen said the move was made according to a regulation that science ministers, within three months of assuming office, must withdraw from the leadership of projects subsidized by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Chen became science minister on Feb. 8. The statement came a few days after a media report claimed Chen was still receiving Science Ministry project subsidies even after becoming its minister. The report claimed that Minister without Portfolio Lee Wan-i, Interior Minister Yeh Jiunn-rong, Economics Minister Lee Chih-kung, Atomic Energy Council Chairman Hsieh Hsiao-hsing and National Security Council adviser Tung Cheng-yuan were also receiving Science Ministry subsidies. Chen told legislators that he stepped down as project manager of one of his projects when he became minister in February, and had initiated procedures to do the same for his second project at the end of March.

Chen worked to allay criticism over possible conflicts of interest, saying he had moved to step away from project manager positions before the three-month deadline.