Taiwan defense chief out over scandal

AFP-JIJI, AP

Taiwan’s defense minister has resigned, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Monday, after the death of a corporal who was allegedly abused by the military in a case that sparked outrage across the island.

Jiang, who announced the resignation of Kao Hua-chu during a news conference to reveal a Cabinet reshuffle, did not elaborate on the reasons for the minister’s stepping down.

Observers say the move was aimed at pacifying outrage over the death of Cpl. Hung Chung-chiu.

Hung died on July 4 of heatstroke apparently caused by being forced to exercise excessively. It was just three days before he was due to be discharged following completion of his compulsory yearlong military service.

Taiwan on Monday named Andrew Yang, 58, to replace Kao. Yang had previously been deputy defense minister.