President Tsai releases doctoral dissertation for public viewing

Taipei-Facing questions about the legitimacy of her doctoral degree, President Tsai Ing-wen (???) released the original version of her doctoral dissertation on Monday.

"President Tsai has decided to authorize the National Central Library to put her doctoral dissertation up for public review," said Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (???) at a press briefing also attended by Huang Di-ying (???), a representative of Tsai's legal team.

The president's academic credentials have come under scrutiny and drawn attention in the media since former television political talk show host Peng Wen-cheng (???) questioned in a Facebook post in June the existence of the president's doctoral dissertation.

In discussing the release of the dissertation, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (???) said the Office has acquired Tsai's student documents from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) that can prove she earned her doctoral degree after completing a strict examination procedure.

"There's absolutely no problem with her academic degree," Huang said.

Tsai's doctoral degree and certification have also been verified by National Chengchi University (NCCU), the Ministry of Education, and the Central Election Commission in the wake of a lengthy and strict verification process, Huang said.

In addition to the original dissertation, the Office released several other documents, including the official doctoral degree certificate sent to Tsai by LSE on March 14, 1984, which carries the signature of then Vice Chancellor Randolph Quirk of the University of London.

LSE is a member institution of the university.

Other allegations about Tsai's doctoral degree have dogged the president, who is running for re-election in the January 2020 presidential election.

In late August, National Taiwan University law professor emeritus Ho De-fen (???) said it was "reasonable to suspect" that Tsai has been faking her dissertation and doctoral degree for 35 years.

Ho cited a report by Hwan C. Lin (???), an associate professor of economics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, to support her argument.

In his report, Lin said he found after a week-long investigation at the LSE that Tsai's doctoral dissertation was only for use in her thesis defense instead of the final version needed to decide her degree.

In response, Tsai had her attorneys file a complaint against Ho and Lin at the Taipei District Prosecutors Office on Sept. 4.

The Presidential Office said at that time that the allegations were false and an attempt to damage Tsai's reputation and credibility.

In filing the complaint, Tsai's attorneys also presented Tsai's doctoral dissertation and certificate for verification, according to the Office.

LSE has provided records that show the names of Tsai's advisers while she was writing her dissertation.

The school also made available an official notice that was issued in February 1984, indicating that Tsai had passed her thesis defense, and it provided a photocopy of her doctorate certificate that was issued in March 1984, the office said.

The photocopy of Tsai's doctorate certificate from LSE is identical to the one that was provided to NCCU in 1984 when she was applying for a teaching job there and the copy in the Ministry of Education's database, it said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel