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In rare move, Tsai reveals new foreign minister, NSC secretary-general

04/16/2024 09:02 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen (center) receives a New Zealand delegation with her secretary-general Lin Chia-lung (second right) and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (first right) at the Presidential Office in Taipei on Tuesday. CNA photo April 16, 2024
President Tsai Ing-wen (center) receives a New Zealand delegation with her secretary-general Lin Chia-lung (second right) and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (first right) at the Presidential Office in Taipei on Tuesday. CNA photo April 16, 2024

Taipei, April 16 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday revealed the incoming administration's new picks for foreign minister and National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general, a departure from the conventional practice where such announcements are typically made by the incoming government.

Tsai introduced her senior aide Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) as the country's new top diplomat and incumbent Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) as the new NSC secretary-general during a meeting with a foreign delegation at the Presidential Office.

"Also with us here today are Secretary-General to the President Lin Chia-lung," Tsai told a New Zealand parliamentarian delegation led by House of Representatives member Joseph Mooney in Taipei, adding"he will be our next foreign minister."

"And also the incumbent foreign minister, who will be the future secretary-general of the National Security Council," the outgoing president said of Wu.

Her comments came about one week after President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德), who is preparing to take office on May 20, and Premier-designate Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) began announcing a list of new Cabinet members.

However, the Presidential Office later said any new government appointments should be confirmed by Lai's team.

President Tsai Ing-wen (center) is accompanied by Presidential Office Secretary General Lin Chia-lung (left) and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu when she received a delegation of an American think tank on April 10, 2024. CNA file photo
President Tsai Ing-wen (center) is accompanied by Presidential Office Secretary General Lin Chia-lung (left) and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu when she received a delegation of an American think tank on April 10, 2024. CNA file photo

Over the past week, it has been widely reported that Lin, who previously served as Taichung mayor and ambassador-at-large in charge of Taiwan's digital New Southbound Policy initiative, had been tipped to succeed Wu as the country's top diplomat.

Lin took up the post of transportation minister in January 2019 but resigned in April 2021 in the wake of a deadly Taroko Express train crash, which killed 49 people and injured at least 200.

Meanwhile, if Wu, the longest serving foreign minister in Taiwan since the country's first direct presidential election in 1996, assumes the role of NSC secretary-general, he will be returning to a position he previously held from May 2016 to May 2017.

Wu also served as Taiwan's representative to the United States from April 2007 to August 2008. He became secretary-general to the President in May 2017 and served in that role until February 2018, when he was appointed foreign minister.

(By Wu Shu-wei and Teng Pei-ju) Enditme/AW

Update

April 17: Environmental minister to step down once Lai takes office

Related News

April 16

 Newly appointed digital minister to ramp up country's information security

● New economics, national development heads tapped from private sector

April 12

 Premier-designate Cho announces new interior, transportation ministers

● New education, justice and culture ministers announced

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

April 10

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

● Premier-designate still working on putting together new Cabinet

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