Taipei mayor refuses to meet new police chief forced upon him

The newly inaugurated Taipei City Police Department Commissioner Chen Jia-chang has yet to meet with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, who described Chen’s appointment by the central government as a disrespectful ambush. (The China Post file photo)

The newly inaugurated Taipei City Police Department Commissioner Chen Jia-chang has yet to meet with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, who described Chen’s appointment by the central government as a disrespectful ambush.

Chen, the former Taichung Police Commissioner, was appointed to replace Chiu Feng-kuang (邱豐光), who was promoted as the deputy director-general of the National Police Agency.

While Ko was not happy with Chiu’s handling of the security at Universiade opening ceremony, in which protesters breached police perimeters and blocked the entry of athletics for 20 minutes, Ko was apparently angry over the central decision of naming Chiu’s replacement without consulting him in the capacity of Taipei Mayor, which was the norm in Taipei police chief appointments. Ko said Wednesday that he was notified by the central government only 30 minutes before the official announcement, which he said felt like “ambushed” and “disrespected.”

In a break to another norm, both Ko and Chiu skipped the new commissioner’s inauguration on Thursday. The mayor also pulled out of a routine security briefing on Friday morning. Deputy Mayor Chen Chin-jun, who presided over the briefing in Ko’s place, said that Ko asked him to come because everyone is worked up and emotionally unstable at the moment. Taipei City Government spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) said that Ko will meet Chen after he is familiar with his new job, adding that “the mayor is still learning patience.”

The dispute over Chen’s appointment is the latest example the increasingly tense relations between Ko and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). There has been a growing voice within the DPP calling for the party to field a challenger to Ko at the 2018 mayoral election.

The China Post staff