Sat, Dec 24, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Top overseas diplomats are ‘too old’: Control Yuan

Staff Writer, with CNA

The diplomats who head the nation’s embassies and missions abroad are “too old,” a member of the Control Yuan said yesterday, urging the government to promote younger blood to positions of authority in the foreign service.

Taiwan has 118 embassies and missions overseas, and their supervisors have an average age of 57.75 years, said Chou Yang-shan (周陽山), a member of the government watchdog agency.

“The age is on the high side,” he said, noting that 12 heads of embassies and missions abroad are older than 65 or will soon turn 65.

Only three of the supervisors at the 118 overseas bureaus are under the age of 50, he said.

Chou said he found that some of the supervisors had been hired to serve as ambassadors immediately after their compulsory retirement from the diplomatic corps.

There were also some diplomats posted to head overseas missions because they had “special connections” with the person in charge, Chou said, hinting at questionable management practices at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Chou urged the ministry to promote younger, talented diplomats to higher positions at its overseas outposts to give them the chance to learn to take charge of important missions as early as possible.

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