Outgoing Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) yesterday confirmed that Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), an associate professor of politics at Soochow University, would succeed him as Cabinet spokesman.
Speaking to the Taipei Times via telephone, Chiang said he “was not in a position to say anything before a formal announcement is made and [the appointment] is finalized.”
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) would not confirm the appointment yesterday when he was approached by reporters as he stumped for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Wang Ting-sheng (王廷升) in the Hualien County legislative by-election. Ma said he would announce the appointment once a decision had been made.
A source within the Executive Yuan said Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) had invited Chiang to join the Cabinet about two to three weeks ago.
Born in 1972, Chiang, who obtained a doctoral degree in international studies from the University of South Carolina and a masters in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, specializes in international political economics and regional economic integration.
Chiang also serves as deputy executive-director of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research’s (TIER) Chinese Taipei APEC Study Center, director of the TIER’s Department of International Affairs and deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Taipei Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, an organization made up of academics, business leaders and government representatives from 25 Pacific Rim economies.
Chiang has published many articles concerning the challenges for the country in the face of growing economic integration, including his PhD dissertation — Globalization and the Role of the State in Contemporary Political Economy: Taiwan and India in the 1980s and 1990s.
The source said Chiang has a wealth of experience to draw upon when he explains to the public the government’s plan to sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China.
A father of two, Chiang is the son-in-law of Liu Shen-liang (劉盛良), a KMT legislator-at-large, and his paternal uncle is Antonio Chiang (江春男), former deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council under the former Democratic Progressive Party government.
Su, who worked closely with KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) during the 2008 presidential election campaign, is to take over as KMT spokesman on Wednesday and prepare for the mayoral elections in the five special municipalities scheduled for December.
News that Su was being replaced came after KMT lawmakers voiced complaints about government spin and poorly explained policy decisions when they met with Ma last month.
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