Premier-designate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) revealed the names of more Cabinet members last night, as the lineup for his new Cabinet neared completion.
The three posts yet to be filled are those posts of foreign affairs, policymaking responsible for China and national defense.
Su said the director of Democratic Progressive Party's Cultural and Information Department Cheng Wen-tsan would be the new head of the Government Information Office and would be succeeding the incumbent Minister Pasuya Yao (姚文智) who is stepping down with Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) today.
Su also said Chiu Kun-liang (邱坤良), president of Taipei National University of the Arts, would be the new chairman of the Cabinet-level Council for Cultural Affairs, replacing Chen Chi-nan (陳其南). A native of Yilan County, Chiu obtained a doctor of literature at the Paris 7th University of France and has been moving in academic circles until yesterday's appointment.
In addition to these appointments, Su also unveiled the names of deputy ministers for various ministries.
A local newspaper reported yesterday that Su is likely to confirm, as early as today, that deputy Presidential Secretary General James Huang (黃志芳) will be minister of foreign affairs, with incumbent Foreign Minister Mark Chen (陳唐山) becoming the new secretary-general to the president.
Chinese-language newspapers including the Liberty Times and the United Daily News announced the appointment of Huang yesterday.
Local media also claimed that Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) and Mainland Affairs Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) would retain their posts to fulfill their missions of safeguarding national security and taking proactive measures to manage exchanges with China respectively.
Formerly a confidential secretary of ex-ambassador to the United States Cheng Cheng-jen when Cheng was deputy foreign minister, Huang obtained a bachelor degree of political science at the National Taiwan University and began his diplomatic career in 1985.
Coming from Tainan County like President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Huang suspended diplomatic life when he was transferred to the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council in 1999 to be a middle rank official coping with issues and policymaking toward China.
The 48-year-old Huang was appointed as the Presidential Office spokesperson in 2002, two years before he was named by the president as deputy presidential secretary general.
The reports said Huang was named as the new foreign minister because he mapped out several successful overseas trips for President Chen and First Lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) while serving as deputy presidential secretary general. Among these was Chen's unanticipated visit to the United Arab Emirates last year, the media disclosed.
Following Huang's appointment, according to the reports, President Chen and Su hope to persuade the incumbent foreign minister to be a successor of Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃), who was elected as Democratic Progressive Party chairman last Sunday, to be the top aide of the president.
The Liberty Times claimed that both Chen and Su think Mark Chen is the best one to replace Yu because of his seniority in the DPP. They believe that as a senior DPP member, Mark Chen would display his ability to coordinate differences of opinion between party officials and the administrations.
Chen, 71, said he had not yet been asked nor informed about any job transfer as of Saturday.
Previous reports also speculated that the DPP government is likely to appoint Chen to be the new ambassador to the United States, given his working experience in a U.S. government department from 1973 to 1992 and decades-long residence in the U.S.
DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng said that by appointing Huang and retaining Wu to head the foreign ministry and MAC, "President Chen would be able to carry out his new pledges unveiled in the New Year Day message," which included the new goal of "effective liberalization with proactive management" regarding the island's exchanges with China.