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Li Yuan sees broad background as key to being named culture minister

04/12/2024 06:09 PM
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Paper Windmill Arts and Educational Foundation Chairman Li Yuan (center, in suit) poses with actor of the Paper Windmill Theatre at a press conference to promote a free performance by the children' theater group in Taipei on Jan. 12, 2023 CNA file photo
Paper Windmill Arts and Educational Foundation Chairman Li Yuan (center, in suit) poses with actor of the Paper Windmill Theatre at a press conference to promote a free performance by the children' theater group in Taipei on Jan. 12, 2023 CNA file photo

Taipei, April 12 (CNA) Novelist Li Yuan (李遠), better known by his pen name Hsiao Yeh (小野), said Friday he was named Taiwan's new culture minister because he has a diverse cultural background, adding that he is not party-affiliated.

Premier-designate Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) named five new Cabinet members at a news conference Friday, after he was named by President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Wednesday as the future premier.

Executive Yuan Secretary-General Li Men-yen (李孟諺), former DPP lawmaker Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳), Taipei chief prosecutor Cheng Ming-chien (鄭銘謙), National Sun Yat-sen University President Cheng Ying-yao (鄭英耀) and Li Yuan will be the ministers of transportation, the interior, justice, education and culture, respectively, Cho said.

Li Yuan had previously headed the Taipei Culture Foundation under the Taipei City government. He also served as Ko Wen-je's (柯文哲) election campaign organizer when Ko -- who now heads the Taiwan People's Party -- successfully ran for reelection in 2018.

"I'm grateful for every opportunity provided to me that allowed me to come in contact with all kinds of cultures and people. I'm not a person with a political party affiliation," Li said in response to reporters' questions at the news conference.

Newly named Minister of Culture Li Yuan (right) attends a talk with then-National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je about the latter's book at the Taipei International Book Exhibition on Feb. 6, 2014. CNA file photo
Newly named Minister of Culture Li Yuan (right) attends a talk with then-National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je about the latter's book at the Taipei International Book Exhibition on Feb. 6, 2014. CNA file photo

The novelist felt he was chosen for his new post because of his varied cultural background, ranging from promoting Taiwan's New Wave Cinema internationally and writing more than 100 books to taking the Taipei-based performing group Paper Windmill Theatre to places around Taiwan.

The 72-year-old Li has also served as president of Taipei-based Chinese Television System (CTS). He is currently chairman of the Paper Windmill Arts and Educational Foundation.

Cho praised Li's broad ties to the arts and popular culture, and said he hoped Li will work with his contacts in the cultural sector and other experts to allow the world see Taiwan's beauty.

When asked if the new Cabinet will have a gender ratio that shows the new government's respect for gender equality, Cho said "we will certainly have the advanced standard in mind and when the final appointments are made, we can then calculate the ratio."

Cho was also quizzed about rumors that Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), currently Taiwan's top envoy to Japan and a former premier and defense attorney, will take over as Judicial Yuan president.

"The terms of Judicial Yuan personnel are not yet up," and there has been no discussion between him and the president-elect about it, Cho said.

"The nomination of Judicial Yuan president is up to the president, so it's not appropriate for me to say more," Cho said.

(By Alison Hsiao)

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Update

April 12

 Premier-designate Cho reveals future appointees to major cabinet jobs

 Premier-designate Cho announces new interior, transportation ministers

● New education, justice and culture ministers announced

● Li Yuan sees broad background as key to being named culture minister

April 11: Presidential aide Lin Chia-lung tipped to be Taiwan's new foreign minister 

Related News

April 10

● President-elect Lai appoints ex-DPP chair Cho Jung-tai as premier

● New Cabinet to respond to domestic, global challenges: Lai

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