Army Commander General Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) has been appointed the new chief of the general staff, replacing General Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發), who is to retire on Thursday next week, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday.
Lieutenant General Wang Shin-lung (王信龍), deputy chief of the general staff, has been named to succeed Chiu as army commander.
Chiu and Wang’s appointments are to take effect on Thursday next week, the ministry said.
The announcement came a day after the Presidential Office and the ministry declined to comment on a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) that Chiu had been selected for the top job.
The choice of Chiu is not without controversy, as it breaks with the tradition of having the chief of the general staff rotate between the army, navy and air force.
In addition, Chiu, 63, would have to resign in May next year when he reaches the mandatory retirement age, which would make him the shortest-serving chief of the general staff in the nation’s history, a military source said.
Chiu has served as army commander since January last year. He previously served as deputy minister of national defense, National Defense Academy president and Reserve Command commander.
Wang, 56, was born in Hualien and graduated from the nation’s military academy. He has served as administrative deputy minister of national defense and deputy chief of the general staff, and led several relief operations after natural disasters.
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