A top aide of President Ma Ying-jeou and a key strategist in his past election campaigns has been appointed the nation’s new representative to the US.
Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) secretary-general King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) will take over the position from Jason Yuan (袁健生), who will assume the post of secretary-general of the National Security Council, following the resignation of council head Hu Wei-chen (胡為真).
The Presidential Office confirmed the personnel reshuffle yesterday and said Ma had approved Hu’s resignation and appointed him an adviser to the Presidential Office.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) will also be moving on to serve as secretary- general of the Presidential Office. Representative to the EU David Lin (林永樂) will take over the ministerial post.
Incumbent Presidential Office Secretary-General Tseng Yung-
chuan (曾永權) will leave government to serve as KMT secretary-general, as part of the Ma administration’s move to reshuffle its foreign affairs portfolio.
King, 57, has been one of Ma’s closest aides since joining his campaign team and helping him win the Taipei mayoral election in 1997. He promised not to take up any position in the Ma administration after helping Ma win the presidential election in 2008 and has only taken up different positions within the party. However, speculation that he will ultimately be trusted with a major position in the Ma administration has never subsided.
The Presidential Office and the KMT yesterday dismissed concern about King’s lack of experience in foreign affairs. Sources in the KMT said that as a top aide of Ma, King would be able to convey Ma’s policies more accurately and promote relations with the US more efficiently.
The party said King is very familiar with world affairs and, as a senior adviser to the KMT’s international affairs department, has taken part in many related programs and activities.
During Ma’s presidential campaign last year, King conducted a 13-day trip to the US as Ma’s top campaign adviser to boost his overseas support and facilitate communication with the US administration.
The personnel changes will take effect later this month.