Cabinet-level committee member drowns in South Pacific

Taipei, A member of a Cabinet-level committee drowned in the Cook Islands on Thursday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Friday, after it was reported that Yang Wei-chung (???) had died while trying to rescue his daughter in a boating accident.

According to local media reports, Yang's 11-year-old daughter fell overboard while they were on a boat tour in the Cook Islands and he jumped into the water to rescue her but perished in the attempt, while she survived.

In a statement, the foreign ministry expressed regret over Yang's death, but said that out of respect for the family it could not give any details on the matter.

Officials from Taiwan's representative office in New Zealand will travel to the Cook Islands, where they are scheduled to meet Yang's family on Friday to offer assistance, the ministry said.

The previous day, Yang's body was transported to Avarua, the capital of the Cook Islands, accompanied by his wife and daughter, and it was not certain when they would return to Taiwan, according to diplomats in New Zealand.

The Cook Islands are a self-governing multi-island country in the South Pacific Ocean, which maintains free association with New Zealand.

Yang, 47, was a member of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) from 2013 to 2016 and served as its spokesman and deputy director of its Culture and Communications Committee at different times during that period.

In 2016, he was named as a member of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, which was established by the Cabinet under a new law to handle inappropriately obtained assets of political parties and their affiliated organizations.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel