President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has ordered a reshuffle of top military and security officials in the Cabinet, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said yesterday.
Chang told a news conference at the Presidential Office that National Security Bureau Director-General Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) is to replace Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發), while Yen is to become a National Security Council (NSC) consultant.
Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) is to become the bureau’s director-general, while NSC consultant Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) is to take over Chen’s post, he said.
The transition for the four officials to their new posts is to begin next week, he added.
Tsai believes the adjustments to the national security team are necessary to meet the challenges of a post-COVID-19 pandemic world where the regional and international situation has changed, Chang said.
Tsai decided on the changes after comprehensively reviewing the situation and consulting with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Chang added.
Commenting on the reshuffle, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus issued a statement saying the rehashing of the same cast of national security officials is a “seat and circle game” that brings no value to the relationship across the Taiwan Strait or with the US.
On the other hand, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers mostly supported the reshufle choices.
Having Chen, who has no military or intelligence background, assume the role at the bureau is a step forward, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said, adding that Chen would be able to bring a new perspective to the NSB with his knowledge of cross-strait affairs.
Chiu Tai-san’s background in law and his appointment to the MAC position suggests that the government is considering national security-related laws as a point of reference when handling cross-strait affairs, as well as Hong Kong and Macau affairs, he added.
DPP Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said that Chiu Kuo-cheng’s experience in intelligence would be a boon to the Ministry of National Defense.
Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Ann Kao (高虹安) said that Chiu Tai-san, Chiu Kuo-cheng and Chen are all close aides of Tsai and the reshuffle of their positions seems to be nothing but a round of musical chairs.
The reshuffle shows that Tsai’s circle of confidantes remains closed and small, she added.
However, Kao said that from the perspective of a new US president, appointing experienced individuals to these positions might be the safest move.
Additional reporting by Huang Hsin-po, Chen Yu and CNA
MAKING A MOVE: Starting on Monday, short-term business travelers can apply for shorter quarantine periods, while transits of up to eight hours would be allowed The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced an easing of restrictions that would from Monday next week allow foreigners to visit or make a transit flight in Taiwan. A policy allowing short-term business travelers from countries with low or medium risks of COVID-19 infections to apply for shorter quarantine periods is also to resume that day. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that while the autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program is to be extended after the end of this month, special conditions for foreign nationals to enter Taiwan would be restored from Monday. Foreign nationals
‘UNFRIENDLY’: COA Minister Chen Chi-chung said that Beijing probably imposed the sanction because the pineapple production season is about to start in Taiwan More than 99 percent of pineapples sold to China passed inspections, the government said yesterday, after China earlier in the day abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from the nation, which Taipei called an “unfriendly” move. From Monday, China is to stop importing pineapples from Taiwan, the Chinese General Administration of Customs said. The regulation is a normal measure for ensuring biosafety, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said in a news release later yesterday. Since last year, Chinese customs officials have repeatedly seized pineapples imported from Taiwan that carried “perilous organisms,” Ma said. Were the organisms to spread in China, they would
CONTINUED VIGILANCE: People would still be required to wear masks at eight types of public spaces and border controls would continue, Chen Shih-chung told reporters The government’s autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program is to continue beyond Sunday, but eating and drinking on high-speed trains would be allowed from Monday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that while there were no new confirmed cases in Taiwan yesterday, the global COVID-19 situation remains serious, so the autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program would be extended beyond its Sunday deadline. “Border control measures, including requiring a negative polymerase chain reaction test result obtained within three days of boarding a plane to Taiwan, and undergoing quarantine in a
MORE RISK? Three Taiwanese family members were found to have the Brazilian variant, which CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo said might be more infectious From Wednesday, all travelers who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days are required to be quarantined at a centralized facility after arriving in Taiwan and undergo a COVID-19 test upon ending quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that starting from 12am on Wednesday, all travelers arriving from Brazil, including those who have transited through the country in the past 14 days, would have to stay at a centralized quarantine facility. “They will be tested for COVID-19 upon completing the 14-day quarantine, and they