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Taiwan's top military officer announced, known for crisis management

Mei Chia-shu's appointment complements Taiwan's efforts to develop indigenous submarine and marine security

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Mei Chia-shu (left) will assume the post of chief of the General Staff beginning May 1, Tan Hua will succeed Mei to head the Navy. (MND...

Mei Chia-shu (left) will assume the post of chief of the General Staff beginning May 1, Tan Hua will succeed Mei to head the Navy. (MND...

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced Tuesday (April 18) that Naval Commander Mei Chia-shu (梅家樹) will succeed General Chen Pao-yu (陳寶餘) to the post of chief of the General Staff.

Tan Hua (唐華), vice chief of the General Staff, will succeed Mei in heading the navy. The appointments are to take effect from May 1.

Lauded for his crisis management skills, 60-year-old Mei was once the country's youngest lieutenant-general. He has been recognized for addressing problems facing the military and his public communication skills following an accidental missile launch in 2016, animal abuse by a group of marines in 2017, and a COVID-19 cluster infection on a naval ship in 2020.

At the time, he sincerely apologized for human error, military misbehavior, and mishandling of the outbreaks.

The appointment came as a surprise as it didn't follow the traditional practice of promoting a commander from the Navy or the Army to the post in less than a year. His appointment is also seen as complementing the government's efforts to develop indigenous submarine and marine security, per China Times.