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Foreign minister unaware of reported impending transfer

2018/12/24 13:58:18

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu

Taipei, Dec. 24 (CNA) Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Monday he had not been informed that he be would be transferred back to his former post as head of the National Security Council (NSC), as was reported in the media earlier in the day.

Wu, however, confirmed that his top aide Vincent Chao (趙怡翔) will be posted soon to Washington, D.C., though not as Taiwan's deputy representative to the United States as the China Times had reported earlier in the day.

According to the newspaper report, Wu is due to leave his post in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), which he took up in February, and return to the NSC as secretary-general sometime early next year.

The Chinese-language newspaper also reported that Chao will be heading to Washington soon to serve as deputy representative at the Taiwan office there.

Asked to comment on the report, Wu said Chao will be posted to Taiwan's representative office in D.C. soon but as a secretary, not as deputy representative.

"Chao has been working closely with me on U.S.-related affairs for a long time," Wu said. "That makes him a perfect choice for the new assignment."

Regarding the report of his own impending transfer, however, Wu said he had not been informed of any such plans.

The Presidential Office also made a similar statement, saying it had no information about that matter.

Before Wu was appointed foreign minister on Feb. 26, he had been President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) confidant on national security matters since she was elected chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2014.

He was a key member of Tsai's transition team after her election as president in January 2016 and he served as head of the NSC for about a year after Tsai took office in May 2016.

Wu also served as Presidential Office secretary-general from May 2017 to February 2018.

(By Joseph Yeh)