Wed, Jan 28, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Defense minister resigns, citing personal reasons

MISSION COMPLETE:A Ministry of National Defense spokesman said ‘the minister has expressed many times to the president his intention to step down’

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of National Defense Yen Ming, right, and Chief of General Staff Admiral Kao Kuang-chi, left, attend the handover of a Tuo Jiang-class missile corvette from the shipyard to the navy on Dec. 23 last year. Kao has been named the new defense minister after Yen resigned yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The military’s Chief of General Staff Admiral Kao Kuang-chi (高廣圻) is to replace Minister of National Defense Yen Ming (嚴明), who resigned yesterday.

Yen tendered his resignation to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), citing personal and professional issues, according to the Presidential Office.

The office said that Yen would become a national policy adviser.

The new appointment is scheduled to take effect on Friday, the Presidential Office added.

Yen was quoted by Ministry of National Defense spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) as saying that he had completed his mission and that he wanted to resign from the position to promote younger leadership in the army’s management.

“The minister has expressed many times to the president his intention to step down,” Lo said.

The nation’s military preparedness will continue unabated under Kao’s leadership, Lo added.

“There will not be any concerns or problems regarding the promotion of defense policy,” Lo said of the change.

Kao is a long-time officer who has served in the ministry’s strategic planning and armaments departments. He was also a navy commander.

Kao’s complete resume won him Ma’s approval for the position, the Presidential Office said.

Pundits said that the defense minister’s responsibility to report to the legislature should not be new to Kao, as he has dealt with lawmakers and the media on various major issues, including arms purchases and the ministry’s institutional rearrangement, adding that he had made a profound impression on many legislators.

General Yen De-fa (嚴德發), who established himself in rescue operations following Typhoon Morakot in 2009, is to succeed 63-year-old Kao.

Deputy Minister of Defense General Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) is to succeed Yen as admiral, and Republic of China Air Force Commander Liu Chen-wu (劉震武) is to be the new Deputy Minister of National Defense, the ministry said in a statement. Administrative Deputy Minister of Defense Lieutenant General Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) was promoted to the rank of general and named the new air force admiral.

Lo said that the shuffle would not affect the ministry’s operations, as all the officials are familiar with their duties.

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