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Cabinet minister quits amid rumors of extramarital affair

TAIPEI -- Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) approved the resignation of a Cabinet minister Thursday amid allegations that the departing official had an extramarital affair.

The decision was made after a meeting between Jiang and Minister without Portfolio Chen Shi-shuenn (陳希舜) Thursday, according to Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) later in the day.

The resignation came amid a report by the weekly Next Magazine (壹周刊) that said the married Chen, 64, has made seven visits to the residence of Regina Wang (王韋堯), 44, director of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology's Department of Industrial and Commercial Design, between April 9 and April 18.

Each visit began with Wang picking Chen up in her car outside the Taipei university at about 8:00 p.m. before heading to her home, where Chen would stay for around three hours before leaving by himself in a taxi, according to the weekly.

Chen issued a statement late Wednesday denying allegations of an extramarital affair with Wang, saying they had met to discuss business but admitting they should not have chosen to meet at Wang's place.

Chen met Wang about four years ago when he was president of the university.

Sources have questioned whether Wang's quick promotion to the top of her department is linked to a relationship with Chen. She had been an assistant professor in her first six years teaching at the university before quickly rising through the ranks of associate professor and then professor.

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