Wed, Jan 22, 2003 - Page 1 News List

New lineup prepares for 2004 contest

NEW FACES The president replaced the head of the nation's spy agency and his vice minister of national defense in a move officials believe is aimed at getting ready for the 2004 election

By Lin Chieh-Yu and Ko Shu-Ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

"I believe he'll do a good job in taking care of the lives of veterans who have spent the golden years of their lives serving the country," Yu said.

Teng, 61, has served as the commander-in-chief of the army's airborne troop command and the army's sixth legion, the deputy commander of the ROC army and vice chief of the general staff of the Ministry of National Defense. He has also served as the principal of the Chung Cheng Armed Forces Preparatory School and the Political Warfare College.

Yu also took the opportunity to dismiss media reports that he had originally planned to appoint a civilian to head the commission.

"Although most civilized and democratic countries have civilians leading the armed forces or veterans' associations, no existing rules stipulate that the head of the commission should be a civilian," Yu said. "I thought it might be a better idea to have someone who knows a lot about the military and who knows how to take care of its needs."

Yu added that it does not mean that civilians will not be able to break into the unit.

"I can see a civilian heading the commission in the future when the national defense system completes its reform and the administration becomes politically neutral," he said.

Yu also dismissed media speculation that the Cabinet would soon be reshuffled to replace officials in charge of finance.

"I've never given it any thought," he said. "My idea is that stability outweighs everything else."

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