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Premier Chen bids farewell to Cabinet members

05/16/2024 09:27 PM
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Premier Chen Chien-jen (center). CNA photo May 16, 2024
Premier Chen Chien-jen (center). CNA photo May 16, 2024

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) expressed gratitude to his Cabinet members for their hard work and assistance at a farewell event in Taipei on Thursday, hours after they tendered their resignation en masse.

"We have been able to fulfill the Executive Yuan's tasks effectively due to mutual trust and collaboration," Chen, who assumed office on Jan. 31, 2023, said at the ceremony attended by more than a dozen senior Cabinet officials.

Chen and his Cabinet tendered their resignation en masse earlier in the day to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) and a government reshuffle on May 20.

In his remarks, Chen particularly thanked his deputy Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) and all the ministers without portfolio for their tireless efforts in coordinating government plans and legislative proposals across various government agencies.

He also noted that the international community had been impressed by Taiwan's COVID-19 response and people's adherence to the government's disease prevention protocols.

Chen, who served as vice president during Tsai's first term from 2016 to 2020, was a government advisor during the COVID-19 pandemic while doing research at Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institute.

The world can now see Taiwan's efforts in developing its economy, social welfare programs, and national defense capability as it stands at the forefront of defending democracy, Chen said, noting that "when we all unite together, the sky is the limit."

Meanwhile, Cheng said he had learned a lot from all the Cabinet officials over the past year and four months, including the premier, whom he described as scientific, rational and determined.

The Cabinet has faced various societal challenges, such as the low birth rate and net-zero transition, but has still laid a better foundation for Taiwan's future development, he added.

Cheng will take over as the new head of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) after Lai takes office on May 20. SEF is a semi-official organization set up by the Taiwanese government to assist Taiwanese businesspeople and their families in China, as well as Chinese spouses and students in Taiwan.

(By Teng Pei-ju)

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