Tue, Feb 27, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Handover ceremonies conducted at three ministries

Staff writer, with CNA

Former minister of national defense Feng Shih-kuan, second left, prepares to hand over the official seals of office to his successor, Yen Teh-fa, right, during a handover ceremony at the Ministry of National Defense in Taipei yesterday as Minister Without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng looks on.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Handover ceremonies were held at three government ministries yesterday as part of the Cabinet reshuffle announced on Friday.

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, David Lee (李大維) handed over the top post to Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), while Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) turned over the reins of the Ministry of National Defense to Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) and Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) took over as minister of labor from Lin Mei-chu (林美珠).

After being sworn in at the foreign ministry, Wu paid tribute to Lee, who has taken over the National Security Council (NSC), and pledged to continue to work closely with him.

“Since the transition of power [in May 2016], Lee and I have been working together in the face of a new diplomatic situation and I am deeply aware of the difficulties of the job,” he said.

“I humble myself in front all of my predecessors,” said Wu, who previously served as Presidential Office secretary-general.

At the request of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), he would strive to ensure that the ministry draws upon the expertise of other government agencies to better promote Taiwan’s diplomacy, Wu said.

Lee told the audience at the ceremony that Wu was the perfect choice to serve as foreign minister, since he has a deep understanding of the work.

There were no speeches at the defense ministry during the brief ceremony presided over by Minister Without Portfolio Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) that saw Feng handed over the seal of office to Yen, a retired three-star Army general who has served as chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, vice minister of defense and, most recently, as NSC secretary-general.

However, Feng later posted some farewell comments on the military spokesman’s Facebook page.

He had hoped to visit troops stationed on outlying islands and conscripts undergoing their four-month basic training, but those plans had to be canceled because of his new mission to take the helm of a government-funded think tank, the Institute for National Security Studies, Feng wrote.

The institute, which will focus on China’s military, is scheduled to open in May.

Minister without Portfolio Lin Wan-i (林萬億) presided over the handover at the Ministry of Labor.

Hsu, a former deputy mayor of Kaohsiung, said she would work to protect the rights of workers rather than acting as a rubber stamp for the government.

The latest amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) mandate that the “one fixed day off and one flexible rest day” per week policy will take effect on Thursday, so she will not have a honeymoon period in her new post given that the ministry has to start labor inspections that same day, Hsu said.

Hsu said she will honor her promise to strive for workers’ rights by fulfilling her responsibilities as a supervisor.

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