TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Presidential Office announced a major reshuffle of its top officials in charge of defense, national security and China policies Friday (Feb. 19), just days after the end of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) will move over to head Taiwan’s top intelligence agency, the National Security Bureau (NSB).
The new defense minister is retired General Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正), NSB chief since 2019. The current defense minister, Yen De-fa (嚴德發), becomes an adviser to the NSC, the Liberty Times reported.
The move also signifies that the NSB will come under the leadership of a civilian, as Chen has an academic rather than a military background. At MAC, he will be succeeded by Chiu Tai-san (邱太三), a former Democratic Progressive Party DPP lawmaker and ex-minister of justice who previously served as vice minister at MAC.
The reshuffle was reportedly, partly a response to recent developments in regional affairs and to the swearing-in of the Biden administration.