Taiwan replaces foreign, defense and China ministers in reshuffle

Former envoy to US Joseph Wu to take over as foreign minister Feb. 26


Cabinet appointees (from top left to bottom right) Joseph Wu, Yen Teh-fa, Chen Ming-tong, Hsu Ming-chun and Chiu Kuo-cheng.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan replaced the ministers in charge of foreign affairs, national defense and relations with China in a wide-ranging reshuffle affecting national security departments Friday.

Presidential Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), a former envoy to the United States, will take over as foreign minister, replacing David Lee (李大維), who is moving over to head the National Security Council (NSC).

The new defense minister is NSC chief Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發), a former Army head and ex-vice minister for armaments. He replaces Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬), who will be appointed to lead a new think tank. Chiu Kuo-cheng will head the Veterans Affairs Council.

A surprise change came at the Mainland Affairs Council, the Cabinet department in charge of relations with China, where a former minister, Chen Ming-tong (陳明通), returns to replace Chang Hsiao-yueh (張小月).

Another change occurred at the Ministry of Labor, where as expected, Minister Lin Mei-chu (林美珠) resigned for health reasons and was succeeded by a deputy mayor of Kaohsiung, Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春).

At the Presidential Office, deputy secretary-general Jason Liu would take over from Wu in an acting capacity, reports said.

The new appointees will be sworn in on February 26 with the exception of Chen at the MAC who would have to wait until March, reports said.

The reshuffle was the first major change in Cabinet staff since William Lai (賴清德) took office as premier last September.