TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As part of the cabinet reshuffle ahead of President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) inauguration Wednesday (May 20), long-serving diplomat David Lee (李大維) has been appointed as the new Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman while Wellington Koo (顧立雄) will succeed his place as secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC).
Lee has previously expressed his intention to depart from his post at the NSC, according to Liberty Times. Sometimes characterized as a holdover from the Kuomintang (KMT) era, many scholars believe that Lee would be perfect for handling cross-strait affairs as SEF chairman.
Lee also served as the minister of foreign affairs from 2016 to 2018 and has been known for his close ties with the U.S. In May last year, he visited U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton in Washington D.C. which marked the first meeting between the national security advisors of both countries since 1979.
Lee's post assignment is scheduled to be reviewed for approval by the SEF board of directors in June.
Meanwhile, though it has become clear that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and most key ministers will remain for Tsai's second term, media speculations have suggested that Koo, the current Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) chairman, would take over Lee's post as the new NSC chief.
During a Q&A session at the Legislative Yuan Monday (May 18), Koo confirmed media reports and said he would serve as the new NSC head. He pointed out that the two main challenges he would have to overcome were the reshuffling of NSC members and inter-ministerial cooperation to ensure the nation's security.
According to New Talk, Koo was mocked by KMT lawmakers for lacking economic background when he first took over as FSC chairman. However, he has since received recognition from many financial experts for his efficient handling of the country's financial affairs.
Wellington Koo slated to become the new secretary-general of the National Security Council. (CNA photo)