Thu, Sep 17, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Andrew Yang picked as deputy defense minister

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday approved Andrew Yang (楊念祖) as deputy minister of national defense to replace Chang Liang-jen (張良任).

The Ministry of National Defense has two deputy ministers.

While Chang will be replaced, the other deputy minister, Chao Shih-chang (趙世璋), will stay on.

Chang was appointed to the post last September and was put in charge of administrative affairs. Chao, appointed in February, is in charge of armaments.

A former military official said yesterday that Yang, secretary-general of the Taipei-based Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies, was unlikely to last long, as he — like Chang — has no military background.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Yang’s advantages consisted of being an “academic who has a moderate temperament and is honest, cooperative and obedient.”

Yang would not stay on long because it would be hard for him to adjust to the military culture, the official said.

The working hours are long — usually 7am to 10pm or 11pm — and the meetings are endless, the official said.

“Civilian ministers worry too much. They don’t take naps, so they’re worn out at the end of the day,” he said.

Furthermore, the job of a deputy defense minister is to tackle thorny issues that are hard for a civilian, he said.

“The position of deputy defense minister is like the right-hand man of the Bamboo Union [竹聯幫] leader,” the official said. “If you don’t come from a gang, you don’t know how to do your job.”

Meanwhile, the Cabinet yesterday announced the appointment of more deputy ministers, including Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Shen Lyu-hsun (沈呂巡).

Shen will succeed Andrew Hsia (夏立言), who resigned over an order sent to Taiwan’s overseas representative offices instructing them to reject non-cash foreign aid following Typhoon Morakot.

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