Joseph Wu Stays on as Taiwan's Foreign Minister Amid Flurry of Cabinet Moves

Joseph Wu Stays on as Taiwan's Foreign Minister Amid Flurry of Cabinet Moves
Credit: Reuters / TPG
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Wu is one of many Cabinet members who will stay on under new Premier Su Tseng-chang.

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Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said today he will remain in his position after being asked to do so by new Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

Wu announced his decision on Twitter shortly after Cabinet spokesperson Kolas Yotaka said she would retain her position as spokeswoman for the Executive Yuan amid a flurry of other confirmed and speculated Cabinet changes.

In his Sunday evening tweet: Wu said: “I was asked by Premier Su to stay on as [foreign minister] to defend Taiwan's sovereignty & the rights of the people. I said yes.”

His announcement comes after previous media speculation he could return to his post as Secretary-General of the National Security Council (NSC).

Wu swapped positions in February 2018 with former foreign minister David Lee (李大維), who left the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) to assume his current post as Secretary-General of the NSC.

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Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka will retain her post.

In other news, Focus Taiwan says it is confirming previous media reports that Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) will remain in her position after speaking to Su by phone on Sunday after originally planned to step down.

Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), a former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator and losing candidate in the 2018 Kaohsiung mayoral race, will become Su’s vice-premier, confirming a move which has been rumored for weeks.

Acting Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) will be tapped to head the agency, per Focus Taiwan, and Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Deputy Minister Chang Tzi-chin (張子敬) will be promoted to EPA minister.

Several other ministers are reported to be keeping their posts, including Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發), Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通), and minister without portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳), better known as Taiwan’s first “digital minister.”

Wu has earned a reputation for his lively Twitter persona, refusing to shy away from comments criticizing Beijing and supporting President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)’s increasingly popular cross-Strait policies.

Earlier on Sunday, MoFA’s Twitter account became ensnared in controversy for tweeting a link to an article by Breitbart, a U.S. publication known for its extreme right-wing editorial stance. (Update 1/14/2019 18:00: The tweet has been deleted.)

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Read Next: Su Tseng-chang Is Taiwan's New Premier as Lai's Cabinet Departs

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