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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Officers stay on as rumors abound of internal military struggle

ROC Central News Agency

2011/02/14 23:10:11

By Lee Shu-hua, Chen Yi-wei and Sofia Wu

Taipei, Feb. 14 (CNA) Four-star Adm. Lin Chen-yi, chief of the General Staff under the Ministry of National Defense, will remain in his post for an extra year, the Presidential Office said in a statement on Monday, a move that could be related to a rumored power struggle in the military.

Meanwhile, the statement said Army Commanding General three-star Gen. Yang Tien-hsiao and three-star Gen. Chin Nai-chieh, head of National Defense University, will also stay in their current postings for one more year.

The three posts generally carry two-year terms, but military sources said the terms can be extended to three years if necessary.

Lin completed two years at his post on Feb. 5, and according to a military tradition in which Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs take turns heading the General Staff office, Lin should have been succeeded by former Air Force Commanding General Lei Yu-chi.

But Lei was demoted to deputy chief of the General Staff in January over a controversy involving military personnel serving as ushers at the wedding of Lei's son, a demotion that sparked speculation about a power struggle in the military, according to military sources.

The sources said the announcement of the extension of Lin's stint as chief of the General Staff would help cool speculation over the power struggle following other incidents casting the Air Force and Army in unfavorable lights.

It was recently discovered that a serviceman in the Air Force may have been wrongfully executed 14 years ago because of the negligence of Air Force officers, and Army general Lo Hsieh-che was detained in January on charges of spying for China.

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