Former diplomat tapped as Taipei City spokesman

Tom Chou and Ko Wen-je developed relationship last year in the Netherlands

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Ko Wen-je (left) and Tom Tai-Chu Chou (周台竹)(middle)(Ko Twitter photo)

Ko Wen-je (left) and Tom Tai-Chu Chou (周台竹)(middle)(Ko Twitter photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former ambassador to the Netherlands Tom Tai-Chu Chou (周台竹) has been appointed as the new spokesperson for Taipei City in a reshuffle of the city government as Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) gears up for the 2020 presidential election.

Chou will replace Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆), who doubles as the head of the city’s Department of Information and Tourism. Also leaving is the city’s deputy spokesperson Ke Yu-an (柯昱安), who has tendered his resignation citing work overload, saying he would focus on social media campaigning as Ko's aide.

Chou, a veteran diplomat previously posted to the Netherlands, made acquaintance with Ko when the latter paid an official visit to the European country last year, reports the Central News Agency. He assumed the position of deputy chairperson of the Taiwan City Government's International Affairs Advisory Council in June.

Chou remarked that he is privileged to embark on the new job. “I feel like I have become ten years younger,” he joked, adding that he is looking forward to working with younger colleagues, CNA reported. Mayor Ko is known to favor the recruitment of relatively young staff members in what is seen as an effort to create a fresher image for his administration.

Chou said he has confidence in his ability to communicate messages from the mayor while also providing professional advice to him. Chou noted that shifting from diplomacy to municipal work has been a humbling experience, adding that he has diligently attended morning meetings at 7:30 a.m. sharp for the past two months, wrote CNA.