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Pro-independence Taiwanese scholar passes away aged 84

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President Lai Ching-te express deep bereavement at Chiu Chwei-liang's passing

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Chiu Chwei-liang, 84, died after a year-long battle with lung cancer. 

Chiu Chwei-liang, 84, died after a year-long battle with lung cancer.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The national policy adviser to former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and an internationally acclaimed political scientist passed away in Australia on Saturday (March 13).

Chiu Chwei-liang (邱垂亮), 84, died after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Even so, he continued writing opinion pieces criticizing authoritarianism in China under Xi Jinping (習近平) and the China-friendly opposition of the Kuomintang (KMT). His recent works attacked media personality Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康), who is seeking the KMT nomination to run in the 2024 presidential election.

Born in a rural area in Miaoli County, Chiu obtained a bachelor's degree in art at National Taiwan University and a doctoral degree from University of California, Riverside. He had been teaching political science at the University of Queensland since 1971. He also went to Stanford University's Hoover Institution as a visiting fellow and University of California as a visiting professor.

As a long-time advocate of Taiwan democracy movements and a constant supporter of international recognition for Taiwan, Chiu was a prominent figure among proponents of Taiwan independence. He served as a national policy adviser to former President Chen Shui-bian and returned to Taiwan from time to time.

Aside from teaching in Australia, Chiu also wrote political commentaries. He had a column at Taiwan People News and did not stop writing despite being treated for cancer.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) both expressed their deep bereavement upon hearing the news of Chiu's passing on Saturday.