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Feng steps down as defense minister, to take helm at think tank

2018/02/26 17:31:09

Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬, left) and Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發, right)

Taipei, Feb. 26 (CNA) Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) officially stepped down as defense minister Monday and confirmed that he will become the first head of a soon-to-be-launched government-funded think tank.

In a ceremony held at the ministry in Taipei, Feng handed over his position to Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發), a former National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general.

Both Feng and Yen did not make any comments during the brief ceremony presided over by Minister without Portfolio Lo Ping-chen (羅秉成).

Instead, Feng later offered his farewell in a post on the military spokesman's Facebook page.

He said he originally had hoped to visit troops stationed on outlying islands and conscripts undergoing their four-month basic training, but those plans had to be canceled because of his new mission to take the helm of a government-funded think tank.

To be opened by the Defense Ministry in May, the semi-official organization will be called the "Institute for National Security Studies" (國防安全研究院) and will focus on studying China's military, according to Taiwan's military.

Recalling his time in office over the past 21 months, Feng said he successfully pushed for structural reforms in the Armed Forces' command and legal system and also pushed for approval of six kinds of subsidies for combat units and the rebuilding of hundreds of half-abandoned military camps and dormitories.

He called on all military personnel, especially young conscripts, to undergo the required training so that they can form a military force capable of defending the country.

Yen, meanwhile, is a retired three-star Army general and decorated officer who has served in various important posts in the military, including as chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and vice defense minister.

He is now the first defense minister in Taiwan's history who has served both as NSC secretary general and as chief of the General Staff.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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