Thu, Sep 07, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Lai picks acting minister to head economic affairs

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:The premier-designate said he has not completed the Cabinet shakeup as he has yet to talk to the defense and foreign affairs chiefs

By Lee Shin-fang and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh, left, yesterday presents gifts to his long-term political rival, Tainan Mayor William Lai, right, who is to take over as premier tomorrow, at the Tainan City Council to congratulate him on his new appointment.

Photo: CNA

Premier-designate William Lai (賴清德) yesterday promoted acting Minister of Economic Affairs Sheng Jong-chin (沈榮津) to minister and tapped National Development Council Deputy Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) to be Shen’s deputy.

National Security Council adviser Lin Feng-jeng is to succeed Wellington Koo (顧立雄) as the chairman of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, Lai said.

Koo has been appointed chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission.

Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) vice president Chiou Jiunn-rong (邱俊榮) is to be the next deputy minister of the National Development Council, Lai said.

“[Kung and Chiou] are young, energetic economic experts, and I believe they will be of great help to developing the economy,” Lai said.

Lai traveled from Tainan to Taipei at midday yesterday, then proceeded to consult incumbent Cabinet members via telephone from President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) official residence.

Lai said the plan was to complete all Cabinet changes and announce them yesterday, but the consultation process took longer than expected due to prolonged discussion on policy issues.

He has yet to consult Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維), Lai said.

“National defense and foreign affairs are the purview of the presidency. In addition, the two ministers are currently attending meetings overseas. As a result, they have yet to be consulted,” Lai said.

When asked whether the new Cabinet is to focus on economic development, Lai replied in the affirmative.

“The decision to appoint [Taiwan Stock Exchange chairman] Shih Jun-ji (施俊吉) as the vice premier, TIER vice president Chiou as the next National Development Council deputy minister and transferring the experienced Kung to be the deputy economic affairs minister were made to facilitate the implementation of economic policies,” he said.

A majority of Cabinet ministers will stay on, including Feng and Lee, the Executive Yuan said.

Other ministers who are to remain at their posts are: Minister of Labor Lin Mei-chu (林美珠), Environmental Protection Administration Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦), Mainland Affairs Council Minister Katharine Chang (張小月), Overseas Community Affairs Council Minister Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興), Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠), Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君), Minister of Finance Sheu Yu-jer (許虞哲), Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮), Council of Agriculture Minister Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), according to the Executive Yuan.

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