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NEW DEFENSE MINISTER TO BOOST MILITARY EXCHANGES WITH U.S.

2004-05-11 21:42:20

    Taipei, May 11 (CNA) Incumbent Chief of General Staff Adm. Li Chieh will serve as defense minister in the new Cabinet, Cabinet spokesman Lin Chia-lung said Tuesday.

    Li will succeed Tang Yiau-ming who has offered to resign over health reasons.

    Li, a submarine expert and a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, will contribute to Taiwan-U.S. military exchanges and make Taiwan's submarine procurement project proceed more smoothly, observers said.

    Meanwhile, Cabinet spokesman Lin said Hsu Chang-yao, incumbent deputy director-general of the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), will be promoted to the top post of the agency.

    Incumbent DGBAS Director-General Liu San-chi will be named a national policy adviser to the president, Lin said.

    He further said Kao Hua-chu, combined service force commander, will replace Teng Chu-lin as chairman of Veterans Affairs Commission.

    Lin said Teng will serve as the Republic of China's ambassador or representative in foreign country after stepping down from his current post.

    Lin further said the Cabinet will resign en masse Wednesday to pave the way for the inauguration of a new Cabinet on May 20 to coincide with President Chen Shui-bian's inauguration for a second four-year term.

    President Chen has asked Premier Yu Shyi-kun to continue heading the new Cabinet and the new Cabinet lineup has largely been determined.

    Government sources said incumbent Air Force Commander-in-Chief Gen. Lee Tian-yu will succeed Li Chieh as chief of the general staff.

    Only three Cabinet posts have yet to be decided -- the head of the National Youth Commission (NYC), a minister-without-portfolio and the head of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs which handles relations with the United States in the absence of official ties.

    With a view to recruiting more outstanding women into public service, Premier Yu intends to appoint a female professional aged under 35 to head the NYC.

    Thirteen department and agency heads, including Finance Minister Lin Chuan and Council for Labor Affairs Chairwoman Chen Chu, will remain on their posts.

    Those who will depart the Cabient include Vice Premier Lin Hsin-yi, Cabinet Secretary-General Liu Shih-fang, Economics Minister Lin Yi-fu, Education Minister Huang Jung-tsun and Council for Culture Affairs Chairwoman Tchen Yu-chiou.

    Premier Yu will host a luncheon in honor of all members of the outgoing Cabinet Wednesday.

(By Sofia Wu)

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