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NTU president respects expression of views by faculty, students

TAIPEI -- National Taiwan University (NTU) President Yang Pan-chyr said yesterday that his university respects the personal expression of views and ideas by its students and faculty but hopes that it can be done rationally and without breaking laws.

He said that if the faculty and students did not show their concern for social issues, it would be detrimental to the long-term development of society.

Yang made the comments in response to questions about Ian Hung, an NTU undergraduate student who mobilized people to besiege a police station in downtown Taipei Friday and threatened that the precinct chief “could get himself assassinated.”

“We have always been positive about our faculty and students showing concern for social issues, but the school's longstanding principles are peace, rationality and abiding by the law,” Yang said.

Hung and others felt the precinct chief, Fang Yang-ning had gone back on a promise when police began forcibly removing protesters from outside the Legislature's gates Friday morning.

On whether Hung's behavior violated the law, Yang said that “will be up to the nation's legal system to decide.”

Yang was also asked about comments made by Shieh Ming-yan, dean of the school's College of Law, that the school had not taught President Ma Ying-jeou well, but he did not directly answer, saying only that he respected “Shieh's expression of his personal views.”

Shieh argued that it was the “ineffectual” Ma administration that triggered civil disobedience and the student-led occupation of the Legislature by bypassing a legislative review of the controversial trade-in-services pact with China.

Ma was a law student of NTU.

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