Sat, Jun 04, 2005 - Page 1 News List

SEF boss aims for `permanent peace'

DUAL ROLE The nation's new cross-strait diplomat has a wealth of experience, which the premier argued would give his organization a welcome shot in the arm

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Frank Hsieh, right, applauds after announcing yesterday that DPP Legislator Chang Chun-hsiung, left, will take over the chairman's post at the Straits Exchange Foundation.

PHOTO: CNA

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) was appointed chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) yesterday, with the DPP stalwart promising to work for a "permanent peace" in the Taiwan Strait.

"Chang has been premier, Presidential Office secretary-general, DPP secretary-general and is now a lawmaker. Because of this background, he knows the government better than anybody else and this experience will be a boost for the foundation. This is why Chang was picked," Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said.

Hsieh was speaking at a press conference at the Executive Yuan to announce Chang's appointment. He succeeds the late former SEF chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫). Chang is understood to have been President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) preferred candidate for the post.

Chang said that his goal as SEF chairman would be to assist the president, the premier and the Mainland Affairs Council in negotiating with China and seeking a permanent peace between the two nations.

"Beijing and Taipei have not talked since 1995. With a bottom line of co-existence, I will see what I can do to help the government resume peace talks with Beijing as soon as possible," Chang said.

The SEF chairmanship is an unpaid position, and because it is defined as a non-profit organization, Chang is not required to resign his seat in the legislature.

The Cabinet yesterday also announced new ministers for the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) minister and the Council of Hakka Affairs.

They are, respectively, former vice minister of examinations Chang Kow-lung (張國龍) and acting Council of Hakka Affairs Chairman Lee Yung-te (李永得).

Cabinet Spokesman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said that appointments for a number of deputy Cabinet posts will be announced next week. However, according to a reliable source, former Taichung mayor Chang Wen-ying (張溫鷹) will take up the vice interior minister's post.

Chang Kow-lung has a doctorate in physics from Yale University and began teaching at National Taiwan University in 1976. He began his career in public service as a senior secretary at the Taipei County Government in 1990. He was vice minister of examinations from 2000.

Lee Yung-te began his career as a print journalist in 1979. His first government job was a consultant at the Ministry of the Interior in 1998. In the same year, Lee became acting deputy manager of the Public Television Service, then became general manager in 1999. He left the TV station last year and became the vice chairman of the Council of Hakka Affairs.

Chang Wen-ying is a political independent, but retains good connections with the DPP.

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