Mon, Feb 04, 2013 - Page 1 News List

New economics, CEPD ministers named

RESHUFFLE:The posts, to be taken by Chang Chia-juch and Kuan Chung-ming, were under scrutiny after criticism that the new premier and vice premier lack economics expertise

Staff writer, with CNA

Incoming premier Jiang Yi-huah talks to the press yesterday.

Photo: CNA

China Airlines (中華航空) chairman Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) will take over as the new minister of economic affairs, while Minister Without Portfolio Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) will take the helm of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), the Cabinet announced yesterday.

Chang will succeed Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥), while Kuan will replace Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘), according to an official press statement.

Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), who is set to take over as head of the Cabinet on Thursday, said he hoped to finalize the Cabinet reshuffle before the Lunar New Year holiday, which starts on Saturday.

Having spent years in both the private and public sectors, Chang is expected to contribute his expertise to help map out polices aimed at bolstering the country’s economy, the statement said.

Not all of the Cabinet’s members will be changed, Jiang said, adding that he expects consultations with possible candidates to be completed soon.

Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) is scheduled to lead his Cabinet in an en masse resignation on Thursday. After President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) approves Chen’s resignation, he will formally appoint Jiang as the new premier, government sources said.

Jiang said he has been discussing the new Cabinet lineup with Ma and that he hoped the reshuffle could be finalized before the Lunar New Year holiday.

The positions of economics minister, finance minister and head of the council have received much attention, although Jiang has remained tight-lipped about individual appointments.

One day earlier, Chen defended the appointments of Jiang, a former interior minister, and Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chih-kuo (毛治國), who is set to become the new vice premier.

Jiang and Mao have both faced criticism that they lack sufficient background in economics and finance for the posts, according to media reports.

Jiang said he hoped the new lineup would coordinate better than the existing one, so that the public would have confidence in the new Cabinet, even though it is not led by a person with much experience in economics and finance.

Deputy Taipei Mayor Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁) was designated as secretary-general of the Executive Yuan, a Cabinet official announced on Friday.

Chen Wei-jen, who graduated from National Cheng Kung University’s Department of Urban Planning, has a masters degree in engineering from the University of Washington and a doctorate from the Graduate School of Planning and Urban Design at the Chinese Culture University.

In addition to his background in engineering, the Executive Yuan said that Chen Wei-jen has served in various important government posts, such as deputy minister of transportation and communications, and commissioner of Taipei’s Bureau of Public Works and Bureau of Urban Development.

As a result, Chen Wei-jen, who has a reputation for coordinating with government agencies, is expected to help bridge the communication gap between the Cabinet and the public.

Steven Chen (陳士魁), the outgoing Cabinet secretary-general, will serve as a minister without portfolio.

The Executive Yuan said he had valuable experience working with government agencies, including serving in the Greater Kaohsiung and Taipei city governments.

After leaving the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission in 2003, he devoted himself to public causes for six years, serving as secretary-general of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and as secretary-general of the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China.

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