Cheng Li-chiun to remain minister of culture: Executive Yuan

According to the Cabinet spokesperson, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun will remain in her position in the new Cabinet. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — The Executive Yuan confirmed Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) will remain in her position in the new Cabinet, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka announced on Jan. 13.

Kolas made the announcement at a press conference that also confirmed the heads of other ministries. In a Facebook post, Cheng said she had decided to remain after a series of telephone conversations with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) who praised her work.

Cheng had announced in a Facebook post on Friday that she planned to step down following the collective resignation of former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) and his Cabinet. Her Facebook post on Friday caused an outcry in cultural and television circles where a petition calling on Cheng to stay received 1,513 supporters.

On learning that Cheng has decided to stay as culture minister, Ju Tzong-ching (朱宗慶), founder of the Ju Percussion Group, said “Great. I am very happy the minister is staying,” adding that Cheng has opened up many new possibilities for the world of culture.

“She is both ideal and pragmatic, moreover it is not easy for a minister to have the support of so many people. Everyone wants her to stay and continue her work,” Ju said.

Meanwhile, a senior political source said that Su undertook to fully support Cheng’s major policies and reforms which include a Contemporary Culture Lab, a creative experimental space renovated from the former site of the ROC Air Force headquarters in Taipei.

Another area of concern is the plan to transform Huashan 1914 Creative Park into a cultural content collective that will work with C-Lab to help nurture cultural and creative industry in the capital, and plans to transform National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall into an example of transitional justice, the source said.

Meanwhile, the new Executive Yuan Secretary-General Li Meng-yen (李孟諺) and spokeswoman Kolas said on Sunday that former Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) has been named the new minister of education.

Pan was named head of the education ministry by former Premier Lin Chuan (林全) in 2016 before resigning in April 2018 in the wake of a political storm after he refused to approve the appointment of then National Taiwan University President-elect Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔).

Science and Technology Minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) who was said by a high-level political source on Friday to be education minister will now continue in his post, Li said.

Later Sunday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) issued a statement on his Facebook that former legislator Lo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) will be the party’s new secretary-general. Lo served as a legislator from 2002-2004.

By Matt Yu, Phoenix Hsu, Sabine Cheng, Wen Kuei-hsiang, Yeh Su-ping and William Yen