Su Jia-chyuan appointed presidential secretary-general

Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全, left) and Wellington Koo (顧立雄)

TAIPEI (CNA) — President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) second term will start with a high-ranking personnel reshuffle, as part of which former Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) is set to take over as presidential secretary-general, according to personnel changes announced by the Presidential Office Monday.

Tsai and Vice President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) will be sworn in on Wednesday.

Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) will take over as secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC), while incumbent NSC Secretary-General David Lee (李大維) will become chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) announced Monday at a press conference.

SEF is a semi-official intermediary body responsible for cross-Taiwan Strait affairs.

National Security Bureau Director-General Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) will remain in his position, while Cabinet spokesperson Kolas Yotaka is to be a spokesperson for the Presidential Office, according to the announcement.

The announcement came after Presidential Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) said Sunday in a Facebook post that she will leave her post on Wednesday when President Tsai officially starts her second term in office.

Su, 63, Tsai’s running mate in her unsuccessful 2012 presidential election bid, was the first non-Kuomintang legislative speaker from 2016 to January 2020, after Tsai of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won her first term as president.

Su has served in many public posts in his political career. He was Pingtung county magistrate from 1997-2004 and has held national posts as the minister of the interior from 2004-2006 and minister of agriculture from 2005-2008 in the administration of then President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

A lawyer and politician, Koo, 62, was a DPP legislator-at-large from February to August 2016 before being appointed head of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee.

The committee is responsible for the investigation and recovery of ill-gotten assets acquired by political parties and their affiliated organizations during Taiwan’s martial law era (1949-1987).

Koo assumed the post of Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) chairman in September 2017.

Koo’s appointment is based on his legal expertise, wide knowledge and the president’s trust in him, according to Huang.

In terms of Lee’s appointment, Huang praised the veteran diplomat for having excelled at promoting international and cross-strait relations as well as national defense during his terms as minister of foreign affairs from 2016-2018 and as NSC secretary-general.

Tsai hopes Lee will help advance cross-strait ties in his new posting at the semi-official SEF, Huang said.

Kolas previously served as DPP spokesperson, so once she assumes her new post Wednesday, she will have been a spokesperson for the party, Cabinet and Presidential Office.

There are currently four spokespersons for the Office: Huang, Xavier Chang (張惇涵), Ting Yun-kung (丁允恭) and Chang Wen-lan (張文蘭).