Culture minister quits, six others to keep posts in new Cabinet

Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君)

TAIPEI (CNA) — The resignation of Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) has been approved by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as the new Cabinet that will take office on May 20 continues to take shape, sources said Friday.

Cheng’s spot will be filled by Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) chief Lee Yung-de (李永得), but six other Cabinet members will continue to serve in their current posts.

Lee, the head of the Hakka Affairs Council from 2005 to 2008 and 2016 to 2020, has long cultivated cultural and arts circles, leading Su to ask him to succeed Cheng, according to the sources.

Lee’s post will be assumed by his deputy, Yang Chang-chen (楊長鎮).

The change came as Su forms a new lineup after the current Cabinet resigned en masse ahead of the second-term inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on May 20.

As of Friday afternoon, much of the new lineup consisted of familiar faces, with six Cabinet members set to stay in their posts and other posts being taken by incumbent deputy ministers or ministers without portfolio.

The six members keeping their posts include Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), and Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠), the sources said.

Hsu and Lin were asked to remain because of their performance over the past 16 months, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, they said.

Pan will remain as education minister for his work in implementing the new curriculum in September last year, according to the sources.

The others expected to keep their jobs are Economic Affairs Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津), Finance Minister Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮), and Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics head Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民).

Among the other changes that have been leaked so far, Minister Without Portfolio Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) will take over as science and technology minister to replace the incumbent, Chen Liang-gee (陳良基).

Wu has served as the chairman of the Industrial Technology Research Institute and was a policy advisor on high-tech issues to Tsai during her 2016 and 2020 presidential election campaigns.

Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄), who has been tipped for a national security or intelligence post, will step down and be replaced by FSC Vice Chairman Huang Tien-mu (黃天牧).

Finally, National Development Council chief Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) will not be kept on, and she will be replaced by current Minister without Portfolio Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫).