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NSB change gives rise to conspiracy theories

NSB change gives rise to conspiracy theories

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The announcement of the sudden replacement of the nation’s top intelligence chief, National Security Bureau Director-General Lee Hsiang-chou, was giving rise Wednesday to conspiracy theories about the reasons for the change.
The National Security Council announced Tuesday evening that Lee’s application to resign for health reasons had been approved, and that he would be succeeded by a former deputy chief of the NSB, Yang Kuo-chiang.
One theory for Lee’s departure quoted by the media was that he was suffering from cancer and would not be able to handle next year’s presidential transition, while another said that he was paying the price for failing to make accurate reports about last May’s visit to the United States by opposition presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen.
According to a report by the Chinese-language United Daily News attributed to a source inside the Presidential Office, it was NSC Secretary-General Kao Hua-chu who paid a private visit to the NSB to check up on Lee’s health situation and asked him to tender his resignation.
Kao, a former defense minister, reportedly feared that Lee would not be up to the heavy workload in the run-up to the inauguration of a new president scheduled for May 20 next year. According to the newspaper, Lee would have to pay visits to hospital for treatment of his alleged oral cancer, but otherwise he was healthy and had been lunching and dining with NSC officials without any trouble.
Because the intelligence service would also handle the safety of the presidential candidates in the run-up to the January 16 election, it was only normal for Kao to show concern for Lee’s health, and asking him to leave office did not form part of a power struggle, the United Daily News wrote.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily wrote that Lee might have been forced to leave because President Ma Ying-jeou and top national security officials found most information about Tsai’s US tour in the media, and not in reports submitted by the intelligence chief. The visit, which included meetings with US government officials, senior elected politicians and top academics, was widely seen as a success for the opposition leader, who has been leading the opinion polls for months.


Updated : 2021-09-20 10:46 GMT+08:00