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Su Tseng-chang named as new premier (update)

2019-01-12  English News
Outgoing Premier Lai Ching-te, President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier-designate Su Tseng-chang./Photo courtesy of CNA
Outgoing Premier Lai Ching-te, President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier-designate Su Tseng-chang./Photo courtesy of CNA
Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen announced Friday that former Premier Su Tseng-chang will lead the new Cabinet, in a major reshuffle.

Su will replace Lai Ching-te, who resigned shortly before, along with the rest of the Cabinet, in preparation for the reshuffle.

At a press conference after the Cabinet's en mass resignation, Tsai said Su has the credentials to serve well in that post again.

"Taiwan needs someone with the experience, will and ability to carry out follow-up reforms," Tsai said.

With such reforms already on the way, the next step is to share the benefits with the Taiwanese people, the president said, adding that she expects Su to implement that goal.

She said Su's creativity is impressive, as evidenced by his bold recruitment of young talent and his adoption of innovative promotional strategies in the local government election campaign last year.

Tsai said 2019 will be full of challenges such as dealing with the possible economic impact of the China-U.S. trade war and with China's efforts to impose its "one China, two systems" formula for unification on Taiwan.

Also, her team must continue to grow stronger and pay more attention to tackling issues like social distribution and care of socially disadvantaged, Tsai said.

"So 2019 will be the year to improve people's livelihood, safeguard democracy and defend the nation's sovereignty," she said.

Those goals are being entrusted to Su, who has the experience to help achieve them, she added.

At Friday's press conference, Su said "success is not final, failure is not fatal," quoting the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

He also thanked President Tsai for her trust and support and promised to listen to the voices of the people.

Meanwhile, outgoing Premier Lai used a baseball analogy to describe his tenure, saying he was a middle relief pitcher.

He said Su is a "finisher" who has the skill and determination to help the DPP win back public support in the "ninth inning."

Earlier in the day, Lai led his Cabinet in a mass resignation in preparation for a major reshuffle.

The resignation of Lai and his Cabinet came one day after the Legislature passed the central government's annual fiscal budget for 2019.