Hung threat­ens law­suit over pun­dit ac­cu­sa­tions

Min­istries con­firm au­then­tic­ity of Hung’s US master’s de­gree


Fol­low­ing ac­cu­sa­tions that her master’s de­gree cre­den­tials earned in the United States were faked, Deputy Leg­isla­tive Speaker and likely Kuom­intang ( KMT) pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hung Hsiu-chu ( ) vowed to re­tal­i­ate with le­gal ac­tion. In re­sponse to the ac­cu­sa­tions, both the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MOE) and Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs (MOFA) con­firmed the ex­is­tence of Hung’s master’s de­gree.

Lo­cal po­lit­i­cal pun­dit Clara Chou ( ) yesterday claimed that Hung had de­ceived the public by stat­ing that her aca­demic record at North­east Mis­souri State Univer­sity (NMSU) in the United States con­sti­tuted a master’s de­gree. Fol­low­ing the ac­cu­sa­tion, Chou de­manded that Hung bow out of the pres­i­den­tial race.

Chou claimed that Hung only earned cred­its dur­ing a sum­mer ses­sion at the univer­sity and not a master’s de­gree and that the univer­sity it­self was not rec­og­nized by the MOE. In re­sponse to these al­le­ga­tions, the MOE stated yesterday that NMSU was in­deed on the MOE’s list of rec­og­nized col­leges and univer­si­ties. The MOE only re­quires for­eign de­grees to be cer­ti­fied if the cre­den­tials are used for ap­ply­ing for higher ed­u­ca­tion de­grees in Tai­wan, be­com­ing a civil ser­vant, or be­com­ing an in­struc­tor or re­ceiv­ing a pro­mo­tion at a univer­sity. The NMSU was es­tab­lished in 1867 and re­named in 1995 to Tru­man State Univer­sity in honor of Harry S. Tru­man, the only U.S. pres­i­dent to be born in the state of Mis­souri.

Re­spond­ing to Chou’s ac­cu­sa­tions, Hung’s staff vowed to take le­gal ac­tion against Chou, stat­ing that it could not “con­cede to the tram­pling of jus­tice and al­low right­eous­ness to be de­stroyed.”

Her cam­paign staff also is­sued a copy of the can­di­date’s de­gree, show­ing that she had earned a “Master of Arts” in Au­gust 1991. The back of the copy also in­di­cated that it had been ver­i­fied by “Co­or­di­na­tion Coun­cil for North Amer­i­can Af­fairs,” one of Tai­wan’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fices in the U.S. Hung be­gan and com- pleted her stud­ies abroad us­ing spare time when the na­tion’s Leg­is­la­ture was in re­cess, in which she made three six-week trips in a span of three years. Of­fi­cials at MOFA later con­firmed that such ver­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ce­dures tes­ti­fied to the ex­is­tence of Hung’s de­gree.

In an ear­lier post on her of­fi­cial Face­book page yesterday, Hung wrote that her master’s de­gree earned at NMSU was au­then­tic. She added: “while it may not be com­ing from an in­sti­tu­tion such as Ms. Chou’s Har­vard Univer­sity ( de­gree), nor be used for civil ser­vant’s ex­ams or cer­tifi­cates, my time spent study­ing abroad in the U. S. was very pre­cious.”

Ac­cord­ing to her gov­ern­ment web­site, aside from her master’s de­gree, Hung earned her bach­e­lor’s de­gree at Chi­nese Cul­tural Univer­sity and also re­ceived cred­its at Na­tional Chengchi Univer­sity.


This photo shows a copy of a diploma re­leased by likely Kuom­intang pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hung Hsiu-chu’s staff yesterday, fol­low­ing ac­cu­sa­tions made by pun­dit Clara Chou that Hung never re­ceived her master’s de­gree. Hung earned her master’s de­gree at North­east Mis­souri State Univer­sity (now Tru­man State Univer­sity) in 1991. The au­then­tic­ity of her diploma was ver­i­fied by the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs.

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