British Library reversal on Tsai Ing-wen’s phantom thesis deepens mystery of missing manuscript

Tsai_Ing-wen_20170613
Tsai Ing-wen’s missing doctoral thesis is not in the British Library as claimed by her supporters. (credit: ROC Office of President

President Tsai Ing-wen of the Republic of China in-exile wrote a thesis thirty-five years ago entitled Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Actions for the London School of Economics and Political Science. Somehow the thesis is missing from the three libraries that it belongs in but was on the shelf, Tsai supporters maintained, at the British Library. Not so says Lee Taylor of the Social Sciences Reference Service department, “No print copy of this thesis is available.”

The British Library was cited to silence criticism of Tsai in June when the missing thesis became a topic of public discussion. The thesis was listed in the library catalog as in the Available Lending Collection and shelf DRT 652034 was purported to be its location.

In response to an inquiry Taylor said, “The item to which you refer is a thesis which has not yet been digitized. You can contact the library of the awarding body, in this case London School of Economics, for access to the thesis.”

The LSE Library has already announced it does not have the missing manuscript, nor does the Senate House Library, or the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, all of which were required repositories. A catalog entry at the British Library was used to silence critics in June. However, when asked if the British Library possessed a copy to digitize the supposed shelf copy was not to be found.

Although Taylor once suggested a donation to the library could get the thesis digitized he now says the library cannot help. “The British Library does not have a printed copy of this….It is not part of our lending collection.”

What little is known about the thesis comes from Tsai’s official ROC biography. The LSE Library does not even have an abstract of the thesis. Tsai cites the thesis as part of her qualification for the presidency. The thesis “discusses the extent to which protection mechanisms can be constructed in a rapidly changing global market system.”

It is becoming apparent that if Tsai’s thesis is to be read, it must be her that provides it, as no one else has a copy. It is not clear whether Tsai’s thesis was removed from the libraries or never filed with them in the first place. If Tsai’s LSE thesis is anything like Ma Ying jeou’s error-filled Harvard thesis she will not be quick to release it to the public.

Author: richardsonreports

Author of FRAMED: J. Edgar Hoover, COINTELPRO & the Omaha Two Story.

39 thoughts on “British Library reversal on Tsai Ing-wen’s phantom thesis deepens mystery of missing manuscript”

    1. I have a Ph.D and is a retired University Professor. It is very easy to ask the President of London School of Economic and Political Science to write an OPEN LETTER to all people in Taiwan to clarify WHETHER Miss Tsai Ing-Wen, the president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Had earned a Degree of Ph.D. from LSE . It is easy to clarify the Case. Judging from all the questions (???), I believe her degree is VERY,VERY QUESTIONABLE. If we prove she is dishonest all the time. She is a criminal and has to put in jail.

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      1. out of the remaining 106 graduates from LSE in 1984, three were Ph.D. in law. They
        are Jose Enrique Molina Vega , Michael Francis Smith , and Ing-wen Tsai

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      2. It may not be as easy and as ‘sure’ as we like to believe. If LSE indeed has involved in some wrong-doing as more likely is with this case, the high officials at LSE may be ‘obligated in some degree’ to cover up for their predecessors specially it has involved in ‘international degree-selling scandal’ in the past, not pursuing through Congressional investigation neither with help from a reputable legal firm, will add more difficulty to compel the school to unearth the truth. If somehow, we can make LSE to believe it is to its advantage to reveal the truth then ….

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    2. Thirty five years ago only hard paper copy was available. Ms. Tsai ‘s dissertation might be misplaced by someone else in the submitting process.

      The contents of the dissertation might be against her national policy as the president today.

      I believe Ms. Tsai had passed all requirements of Ph. D degree. Just in the graduating process someone made some careless mistake.

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      1. Careless mistakes ? Then go ahead correct it! Show us the original copy and resubmit it. File complaint to LSE and demand for apology in public!

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      2. The author’s argument is completely unacceptable.
        In my opinion, Mr. Chang is a strong supporter and believer of Ms. Tsai’s political ideology. Nevertheless, the only evidence he can come up with about thesis authenticity is to blame an unknown scapegoat. I wonder what kind of academic training he had received in getting his own degrees. It’s probably a joke too.

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      3. The LSE Library is pretty clear in its current catalog entry that the thesis was never submitted prior to 2019. Reports are the recently submitted thesis by Tsai is a draft version with missing pages, etc. While LSE may have some questions to answer about the award of Tsai’s degree, the Library appears to not have “lost” the original completed and signed thesis, if such a document ever existed.

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      4. What you believed doesn’t mean anything, and we are not only trust Ms. Tsai’s but also need verified. That’s all!

        t

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      5. As a scholar, show your evidence leading to your statement. Otherwise, people questioned where does your degree come from?

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  1. There must be a dissertation through which Tsai obtained her Ph.D. Not available in libraries doesn’t disqualify her degree. There are two types of people attacking Tsai during Taiwan’s presidential election period. The first are those who support KMT or CCP, openly or secretly. The other are those who hate Tsai so much that they would like KMT to win. If you care about Taiwan’s future, you can hold your gun until after the election.

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    1. Thanks for the comment and concern about the future of Taiwan. I agree that the missing thesis does not disqualify the degree. I also agree that there must have been a dissertation. Why it is missing from four libraries I do not know. I disagree with silence about the missing thesis until after the election.

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    2. Some comments are quite off from common sense. Some suggest we should be silent on this matter till after election. Ms Tsai claims her Ph.D. degree from LSE as a qualification and quality for the top national position. What if she refuses to reveal her important and glory thesis and neither that can be found anywhere in LSE that all people on island like to see, at least that is part of her defense for her own integrity and honest for that I hope is all true, and she wins the election, how will she be facing all those suspious eyes on the island still hoping a satisfying answer from her? Are we ready to accept a cheater as our president? The first thing we learnt from grade school is to be honest, to self, to people, to society. So, it is an important matter to all of us, BEFORE the general election. Hope Ms. Tsai does not disappoint us.

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    3. Cheating and dishonest is a serious personality that everyone has to care whether you like or hate her. This is not just for elections! Not to mention you talked about Taiwan’s future.

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    4. It is so pointless to bring in the motivation of those who question the dissertation. Who cares about the motivation? Could you please stay on topic and talk about whether her degree was real, as you would anyone who claims to have earned a PhD?
      Who is politicizing this issue, really?

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  2. Wang Ken 王克雄, “There must be a dissertation through which Tsai obtained her Ph.D” Please show me, where is the Dissertation? Somewhere? Where? . Dissertation”Not available in libraries doesn’t disqualify her degree”, which I agree. But No Dissertation does disqualify her Ph D. degree.

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    1. Further to my comment above, please consider the facts:
      1) None of the 3 libraries in LSE that suppose to harbor all Ph.D. theses from LSE degrees holders admit the existence of this sought after thesis from the now world-known Taiwan’s president despite their claim that they have theses from all others graduated from there.

      2) None from LSE current or past administrative or faculty members ever stands out to comment about the now famous and world-known student of theirs, I would be proud to talk about if I ever have a famous student of mine.

      3) Ms. Tsai should have her much praised thesis in her possession if what she claimed is true. In 2 years or under she was able to earn a Ph.D. from the highly accredited school LSE is a ingenious accomplishment if not all impossible. She further said that she was almost awarded 1.5 doctorate degrees for her ingenious accomplishment. If you have such highly regarded thesis for a doctorate degree, what would you treat your thesis? just put away in your shoe box?

      4) Upon graduation from LSE with such highly regarded honorable degree she applied and was admitted to Taiwan’s college as Associate Professor then Professor, did she need to present copy of her LSE thesis while applying for the position? Can she get copy of her past thesis back from those schools now to substantiate her claim?

      5) If her claim is true, her Ph.D. thesis is worth of earning her 1.5 Ph.D. degree, there bound to be other researchers worldwide, read and quoted her work in their own researches or publications, but truth is none in the world ever knows about the very existence of this highly regarded paper. It just doesn’t make sense.

      With above, I can’t clear following doubts from my mind and I wish Tsai is right:
      a) Is this degree a real one from LSE? In England there was wide spread for awhile in the past about wide circulation of fake degrees from well-known European schools.

      b) Did Tsai really turn in her thesis and complete all the cross examination with her chief professor along with other faculty members who form a panel to determine if she pass or fail in her pursuit for such degree?

      c) I am very anxious to know if anyone from LSE is willing to come out and talk above the shortest time on record at LSE to be rewarded with a Ph.D. in any field.

      d) Back to Taiwan, I wonder if colleges or universities need any proof of scholar achievement from Taiwan or abroad as part of review of candidate’s qualification for any position at their school, particularly a teaching position?

      As one of many who graduated from Taiwan and went on to study in the U.S. and have since stayed but retained interest in Taiwan’s everything, I wish such doubts can be proven unnecessary and everything Tsai claims is true and nothing but the truth,
      otherwise, our Taiwan would have a president who would consider himself more a Japanese, another president a world certified money-washer criminal, and now a scholar credential cheating lady president. So, what an accomplishment our Taiwan has after gaining itself so called free general election and much proud democracy.

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      1. Agreed to all of your doubts, but please stay to the topic, do not take away the flashlights of Ma’s dissertation at Harvard. Doubting Taiwanese democracy? How about don’t come back for the health care and voting.

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      2. Sir! Have you really do your homework? or just following KMT media’s accusations and trying to mislead more people in abroad??? shame! Check it for yourself! ws.moe.edu.tw/Download.ashx?u=C099358C81D4876C725695F2070B467E8B81ED614D7AF43ED7A6191EA2591E5BA3C8FF8600F65CDC847604E575A7435E5ED284142D511EBE2795944025CA00406AE193B84520CD17D164D22797201D1B&n=F9FA136206BB59544FB8D3A44903BFF96489A89B70452FEA&icon=..pdf

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  3. With the issue of Ma’s thesis, KMT might neither has the stand nor the willing to go too hard on this topic, which is a shame actually. I don’t see a universal public discussion among Taiwan society about this.

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  4. Great work on this investigation! Please keep it up and break this ugly truth to your western audience for them to see Tsai for the real person she is: Someone who has enjoyed extreme privilege on all fronts all her life not through competence, but wealthy upbringing and chicanery, not to mention demagoguery.
    I went to the same university in the same year as she did. I don’t even know if she got in on her own merit, as that Law School class of my year was replete with sons and daughters of money and power. It was well known.

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  5. I have an idea without going through all arguments! Let’s test Miss. Tsai’s English, If she can speak fine English in English accent, plus some usual slam words. Then She is telling the true , otherwise. She is Dr. No!

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    1. Curiously, Professor Yungtai Hsu is claiming that the thesis uses American “English” rather than British “English” with the major difference being spelling of certain words. Yungtai maintains that British professors downgrade for not using the British spelling.

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      1. With what she said it’s clearly indicated that she didn’t complete her degree at all. I would like to know where did she stay during her school years and what transportation did she use when she was in UK?

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      2. Not only in UK, even across entire Europe. I have worked in a European institution based in Switzerland. When I submitted internal reports there with many words spelled American style, the editing office would make sure they were all changed to British spelling. So I find it almost impossible that LSE would have allowed Tsai to write in American style English.

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  6. Even Tsai and her team in the wake of increasing uproar from people all across in Taiwan start to defend in her so called Degree-Gate, her answers so far have not touched any core questions in people’s mind except to say that her full thesis is available and no string was attached to while anyone wants to borrow, this is in apparent contradiction from an Oxford economics Ph.D, Dr. Hsu recent experience at LSI there according to him he was not allowed to copy, take picture, drink water and even quote any part from Tsai’s thesis later. The librarian told him this is in strict accordance with author’s specific request. I can’t picture what value this ‘highly-praised’ and almost earned her 1.5 thesis would have left if it forbids anyone from quoting it. It has no value at all because one can only read it and memorize as much as could in that LEI reading room and can’t quote it later in any where, so as a reader, I am allowed to read as much while I am there and can’t use any part I memorized as I would violate copyright laws. Yet despite all discussions we have on her thesis, Tsai has so far in her news answering occasions, never mentioned the words ‘doctoral degree’ before ‘thesis’, so, Tsai kept saying the exsistence of her thesis should not be a doubt, what about her much in doubted ‘doctoral degree thesis’?

    I have to say she is a very talented and cunning politician whether one likes her or not. She started her career as 政大副教授 with help from KMT officials, later became a close associate with President Lee then joined DPP for her own presidential drive. A late-comer yet she could sprint out as DPP’s leader, she plays very well in balancing out different forces within the party. Only this time her main opponents all are from within her own party, can she survive? Let’s see.

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  7. It’s a shame and slap in the face of Taiwan government an education system, if Tsai was not actually qualified for the Phd and she had been hiding this for more than 35 years. Can we write a letter to LSE to clarify this situation and provide the Tsai Phd certificate. It was not just the personal matters of Tsai, it also the concern of all the Taiwan(R.O.C) people as she is current president and candidate for next election as well.

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  8. Hi Richardson, could you be able to write a letter to LSE authority to clarify the status of Tsai’s Phd qualification. If you can prove the authenticity of Tsai’s qualification, whether it is true or false , that would be a big news around Taiwan.

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  9. You may not know that the main media in Taiwan have been controlled by the DPP(Democratic Progressive Party). The media has become a propaganda tool for the DPP to combat opponents and spread false news. The DPP is following the example of Japan, by modifying textbooks to educate the next generation of erroneous history. This is what they are doing. The KMT(Kuomintang) is like a weak chicken, and it has no counterattack ability. Taiwan’s democracy is going backwards.

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  10. LSE just issued an announcement trying to cover up for Tsai, in which it said ” There is a listing of Dr Tsai’s thesis ‘Unfair trade practices and safeguard actions’ in the IALS index document “Legal Research in the United Kingdom 1905-1984”, which was published in 1985.”
    But, this is only a listing of all the research work done during that period. It does not indicate whether this work was a PhD thesis.
    Is it a real PhD thesis that passed the exam by committee, or just one of those junk research articles nobody cared about? LSE needs to clarify!
    Is it a real PhD thesis that passed the exam by committee?
    Is it a real PhD thesis that passed the exam by committee?
    Is it a real PhD thesis that passed the exam by committee?

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  11. LSE just issued an announcement trying to cover up for Tsai, in which it said ” There is a listing of Dr Tsai’s thesis ‘Unfair trade practices and safeguard actions’ in the IALS index document “Legal Research in the United Kingdom 1905-1984”, which was published in 1985.”
    This explained NOTHING!
    It is not a list of PhD theses!
    It is a listing of all the research work done during that period.
    This list does NOT prove Tsai got a PhD, only that she (maybe) did some research on a subject.
    Did everyone on that list get a PhD?

    LSE, PLEASE CLARIFY!

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  12. Someone needs to seriously challenge the heavy guarding that LSE put on this thesis, which is out of the norm. It could be a document with severe plagiarism. If it cannot be freely and openly accessed, how can one determine if it is not a result of plagiarism?

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