Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) yesterday vowed to work for prosperity, sustainability and a fair distribution of wealth at the ceremony to install the new Cabinet.
Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) handed over premiership to Liu under the supervision of Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) at the Executive Yuan yesterday.
Liu expressed thanks to Chang for his Cabinet’s efforts to stabilize the nation’s political situation and ensure continuity in policies, and expressed gratitude for the outgoing Cabinet’s cooperation with the incoming government as it prepared to hand over power.
Liu, who was vice premier when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) handed over the reins to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2000, said it was the wish of the public that the government pursue progress regardless of which party is in power.
“We will proceed with [the DPP] government’s good policies, come up with proposals for policies that require adjusting, execute the platform of [President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Siew] and map out forward-looking policies,” Liu said.
In his speech, Chang, who served two terms as premier under the DPP administration, praised the nation for its democratic achievements.
“Since Taiwan held the [first] direct presidential election in 1996, no matter how ferocious election campaigns have been, power has been transferred peacefully. That reflects progress and democracy in Taiwan. It’s a hard-earned achievement,” Chang said. “We have demonstrated to the whole world our progress and democracy through today’s transfer of power. It’s a historic moment.”
Siew commended Chang and his administrative team for their painstaking efforts during the caretaker period between the March 22 presidential election and yesterday’s installment of the new administration.
Chang has set a positive example for statesmen through his deeds, which kept the political situation stable during the caretaker period and enhanced the public’s confidence in the nation’s democracy, Siew said.
After the ceremony, Liu escorted Chang on his way out of the Executive Yuan.
Liu tripped while walking down the stairs in the lobby of the Executive Yuan hall, nearly falling.
“I am fine. My kung fu is very good,” Liu, a martial arts fiction fan and author of more than 10 martial arts novels, joked in response to reporters’ questions.
In related news, Jason Yuan (袁健生) has been tapped by the Ma administration to serve as the nation’s representative to Washington, US sources said yesterday.
Sources said the US government was expected to accept Yuan’s appointment soon.
Yuan served as the nation’s representative to Canada and Panama and as director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Los Angeles under the last KMT administration.
He has served as the KMT’s representative to the US since 2004.
Meanwhile, Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Taiwan’s current representative to the US, has handed in his resignation.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER