The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed reports that a Cabinet reshuffle was set to take place in September, insisting that there were no immediate plans for a reshuffle in the foreign affairs or national defense departments.
Following the legislature’s approval of major bills on US beef imports and a capital gains tax, the Cabinet is allegedly planning a personnel reshuffle in September, with former representative to Japan John Feng (馮寄台) said to be taking over as foreign minister, the Chinese-language China Times reported.
It is also alleged that Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shyn-yuan (賴幸媛) would join the National Security Council following the eighth round of cross-strait talks on Aug. 9, the article said.
The personnel reshuffle would also include the national defense system as Deputy Minister of National Defense Chao Shih-chang (趙世璋) is scheduled to retire in September.
Feng is one of Ma’s trusted aides who served as a campaign official during Ma’s 2008 presidential campaign and it is expected that Ma will put him in the foreign affairs system soon after he steps down as representative to Japan in May.
Ma has also defended Lai’s performance over the past four years and there is speculation that in April Ma will arrange for her to take a post in the National Security Council to handle cross-strait issues.
Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) shrugged off the report as pure speculation and said the government did not have any immediate plans on reshuffling the foreign affairs, national security or national defense departments.
The Executive Yuan will make announcements and explain to the public any personnel reshuffles that are made, he added.