What you need to know
Tsai Ing-wen's second term Cabinet features many familiar faces, along with the appointment of the first indigenous Taiwanese to be the spokesperson for the Presidential Office, Kolas Yotaka.
Taiwan’s Office of the President and Executive Yuan announced the personnel changes ahead of President Tsai Ing-wen’s second-term inauguration.
Former legislative speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) will take over as presidential secretary-general.
Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) will assume the position of secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC), while incumbent NSC Secretary-General David Lee (李大維) will head the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).
Kolas Yotaka, Executive Yuan’s spokesperson, will be the spokesperson for the presidential office.
National Security Bureau Director-General Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) will remain in his position. In the Executive Yuan, Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), Secretary-General Li Meng-yen (李孟諺), and Deputy Secretary-General He Pei-shan (何佩珊) will remain in their positions as well.
Presidential Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan
Su has an impressive resume with former positions including stints as a legislator, magistrate of Pingtung County, interior minister, Council of Agriculture minister, and president of the legislature, according to presidential spokesperson Huang Chongyan (黃重諺).
Su’s rich experience in the political arena would allow him to assist the president, particularly in communicating with the public, Huang said at a press conference.
National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo
Appointed NSC Secretary-General Wellington Koo is a lawyer well-known for his human rights work. He was a Democratic Progressive Party legislator before being appointed to his past role as chairman of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee. The committee is a government agency responsible for investigating and recovering illicit party assets acquired during Taiwan’s martial law period.
Huang said national security is vast in scope, spanning many fields. President Tsai tapped Koo to lead the NSC because he possessed a deep background in law, systems management experience, and had earned the president’s trust.
Huang pointed out that President Tsai hopes to count on Koo’s talent to lead NSC in its future course. She believes that Koo’s experience and performance at the Financial Supervisory Commission show that he has the ability to lead a diverse team, and can think innovatively about solving problems.
David Lee to head Straits Exchange Foundation
Incumbent NSC Secretary-General David Lee will be the chairman of the SEF.
Lee is a reputable diplomat who has excelled in advancing international relations and diplomacy, Huang said. In the future, the president hopes to rely on Lee’s experience and connections to manage cross-strait affairs.
During his term as Taiwan’s national security chief, . He was the Taiwanese official to meet with a senior U.S. security official since Taiwan and the United States severed diplomatic ties over 40 years ago.
Kolas Yotaka to score her third spokesperson position
Kolas was the first indigenous Taiwanese to be an Executive Yuan spokesperson, and she will also be the first indigenous Taiwanese to be the spokesperson for the Presidential Office.
After the appointment, Kolas wrote on her Facebook that she has won the “triathlon” record by being the spokesperson for the DPP, the Executive Yuan, and now the Presidential Office.
Chen Chi-mai to remain in the same position along with 7 ministers
Premier Su Tseng-chang has re-appointed the same vice premier, secretary-general, deputy secretary-general, and seven ministers including Digital Minister Audrey Tang.
Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) will be replaced by Hakka Affairs Council Minister Lee Yung-te (李永得). During Cheng’s term, she has pushed for the drafting of the Public Media Law, which would solidify the independence of public media outlets like Central News Agency from the government. Meanwhile, Lee has promoted the much-praised as part of his effort to revive Hakka culture.
Yang Jen-ni to head Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs
Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs will be headed by Yang Jen-ni (楊珍妮), the current director of the Bureau of Foreign Trade.
In accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, the U.S. established the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) to be the de facto embassy in handling U.S.-Taiwan affairs. Taiwan likewise established a Coordination Council for North American Affairs, currently known as the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs, to act as the reciprocal institution of AIT.
TNL Editor: Nicholas Haggerty, Daphne K. Lee (@thenewslensintl)
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