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Taiwan swears in new defense minister

Upgrading of F-16 jets and submarine project to continue

Chiu Kuo-cheng speaking at the Legislative Yuan last year 

Chiu Kuo-cheng speaking at the Legislative Yuan last year  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Retired General Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) was sworn in as the new minister of national defense Tuesday (Feb. 23) with the promise to continue military reforms.

His appointment formed part of a Cabinet reshuffle of top security, defense, and China policy officials announced on Feb. 19. Chiu’s predecessor, Yen Te-fa (嚴德發), also a retired general, was moved over to the National Security Council (NSC) to serve as an adviser.

At the handover ceremony Tuesday morning, neither official made any public statements, CNA reported. Two key military projects spanning the next few years are the continuing upgrade of the Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets and the construction of the nation’s first-ever domestically developed submarine.

The development of its own weapons systems, from missiles to submarines to other vehicles, has been the government’s core defense policy in the face of China’s increasing aggressiveness, as expressed by the almost daily incursions of Chinese warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.

Officials praised Chiu’s experience, which stretched from serving as a defense university president and as chief of staff to heading the National Security Bureau (NSB), Taiwan’s top intelligence agency, over the past year.

Updated : 2022-05-28 15:05 GMT+08:00