Taiwan foreign, defense and China ministers to stay on

Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang will reportedly also remain to serve in the new Cabinet

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Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發), Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) and Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) are among the Cabinet officials who will stay in place when Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) is sworn in on Monday, according to media reports.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) resigned last Friday after the Legislative Yuan passed the central government budget for 2019, and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) immediately announced she was appointing former Premier Su as Lai’s successor.

National security and foreign policy issues fall under the authority of the president, and she reportedly decided to leave the ministers from the Lai Cabinet in those fields to continue working in the new team, the Central News Agency reported Saturday. The MAC is the Cabinet agency in charge of the sensitive relationship with China.

While Tang is not involved in direct national security matters, his digital expertise and appearance in international video conferences to explain Taiwan’s position has won him a level of popularity unusual for ministers without portfolio, who usually stay in the background.

Earlier, reports also said that the Lai Cabinet’s main finance and economic officials would stay working with Su. Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) would also remain, while prominent newcomers included former Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) as minister of transportation and communications and outgoing Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) moving over to head the Ministry of Education.