Taiwanese Americans in Southern California Launched a Petition in Support of Chi-Huey Wong

Mr. Chi-Huey Wong, President Emeritus of Academia Sinica, was charged in January last year with allegedly violating the Civil Servant Anti-Corruption Act. In early February this year, the Taiwanese Americans in Southern California, where Mr. Wong resided, felt extreme injustice and launched a petition in support of him. Within two months, the petition was endorsed, both online and on paper, by 42 organizations, including notably North America Taiwanese Engineering and Science Association (北美台灣工程師協會), North America Taiwanese Professors’ Association (北美洲台灣人教授協會), Taiwanese Association of America (全美台灣同鄉會), World Federation of Taiwanese Associations (世界台灣同鄉會聯合會), Taiwanese-American Foundation (王桂榮台美基金會), Formosan Association for Human Rights (全美台灣人權協會), local chapters of Formosan Association for Public Affairs (台灣人公共事務會), and a number of Taiwanese Christian churches in the US. In addition, the petition was also signed by over 1,900 Taiwanese individuals in the US and other parts of the world.

The petition letter indicates that based on the court proceedings, particularly the testimonies of the key witnesses, Mr. Wong has been wrongly accused, chiefly because of the prosecutors’ misunderstandings regarding the common practices of technology transfer and related documents. Specifically, it states that Mr. Wong, as President of Academia Sinica, was never involved in negotiating with any licensee, reviewing, approving, or signing any licensing agreement. The consultation between him, as an inventor, and the Licensing Manager was a necessary and normal procedure, and the whole process of technology transfer followed the internal regulations of the institution. Further, consistent with Mr. Wong’s practice during his entire tenure as President, he never accepted or intended to accept any technical shares from OBI or any other companies. Additionally, the OBI shares that Mr. Wong purchased for his daughter were paid with his own money. This purchase was mainly for him, as a cofounder of OBI’s parent company, to show support for OBI and had nothing to do with his position or the technology transfer.

The petition letter appeals to the court to deliver a verdict justly and expeditiously. It concludes with the following statement: “While legal reform in Taiwan is shifting into high gear, we are hopeful that the court will be fair and just, and will render the only verdict supported by the evidence: a verdict of not guilty which will end the case in its entirety. This result will not only help in restoring Mr. Wong’s reputation and that of Academia Sinica, but also contribute to the revival of Taiwan’s biotechnology industry.”

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