Rumors about who will replace National Security Bureau (NSB) director Tsai Der-sheng (蔡得勝) have been circulating over the past year as Tsai approaches his fourth year in office, sources have said, adding that Chang Chi-ping (張濟平) could be the next in line.
Tsai, who was elected to be the bureau’s 14th director in May 2009, is set to reach the end of his term at the end of next month, making him the bureau’s longest-serving director since 2000, sources said. Chang is a National Security Council consultant and a former Bureau of Investigation director-general.
The sources say that the past four years have been difficult for Tsai, who, unlike other bureau directors who were military generals with command experience, retired from the military at the rank of lieutenant general and specialized in information analysis.
This discrepancy led the bureau and the council to keep a close eye on Tsai’s performance as NSB director, a source said, adding that despite some bumps in the road, Tsai had done his job well.
“Nothing’s set in stone, and seeing as Tsai is the only director to have lasted until the end of his term, he could stay in his post,” a source said, though they added that recent interactions between the council, the bureau and the Presidential Office suggested NSB personnel changes were likely.
Council and bureau officials declined to comment on the possibility of Tsai being replaced, adding that because any candidate for the post had to be recommended and ratified by the president, the decision had to be made by the Presidential Office.
National security insiders have been debating on who will succeed Tsai should he be made to step down, with most seeing Chang as the most likely candidate.