President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has tapped Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Vice Chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄) to be acting foundation chairman, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said yesterday.
The appointment covers a vacancy left by the reappointment of former foundation chairman David Lee (李大維) to be Presidential Office secretary-general, Chang said.
Hsu’s role as vice chairman shows his familiarity with cross-strait affairs, while his experience as chairman of the Third Wednesday Club and honorary chairman of the Chinese National Federation of Industries highlights his business acumen, Chang said.
Jan Jyh-horng (詹志宏) is to take over from Hsu as SEF vice chairman, Chang added.
When asked to confirm reports that Tsai was considering appointing former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), as SEF chairman, Chang said only that the president would make public her choice as soon as it is confirmed.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Hsu’s appointment had been approved on Aug. 6 and that Hsu would serve in the role for three months.
Hsu yesterday confirmed he has accepted the appointment.
Regarding how he intended to expand opportunities for Taiwanese businesspeople across the Taiwan Strait, Hsu said he would outline his plans after his acting chairmanship has been ratified.
Hsu faces the difficult task of assisting Taiwanese businesspeople across the Strait in finding new commercial opportunities during his stand-in, a person familiar with the matter said.
Hsu, 76, who has run New Kinpo Group (新金寶集團) for more than 47 years and is the chairman of 30 different companies, often acts as a bridge between the corporate sector and the government.
In January, shortly after Tsai was re-elected in a landslide victory, Hsu called on the government to maintain stable and peaceful relations with China, as it remains an important export destination for Taiwan.
He also said that both sides must achieve consensus to arrive at a long-term solution and should endeavor to work toward a mutually beneficial working relationship.
Hsu is to host the foundation’s board meeting on Friday next week, when the foundation would confirm Jan’s appointment, MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said.
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