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June 24, 2017

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Envoy to Norway will become representative on duty in Philippines

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's top envoy to Norway has been named as the nation's new representative to the Philippines, the Presidential Office announced Tuesday.

Lin Song-huann (林松煥) will replace incumbent envoy to Manila Raymond Wang (王樂生) to become the nation's top representative to the East Asian country, the office said in a public announcement.

Asked to comment, Wang told the Chinese-language Apple Daily said he fully respects the decision.

Lin has been serving as Taiwan's representative to Norway since October 2013. Before that, he was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' (MOFA) secretary-general. Wang was posted to Manila in early 2012.

Lin previously served as Taiwan's top envoy to the Marshall Islands, as well as an envoy to Australia and head of MOFA's Department East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

The personnel reshuffle announcement came at a sensitive time as Taiwan and the Philippines are currently in talks to sign an agreement on marine patrol cooperation next month in the event of future fishing incidents in overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZs).

  Manila's representative office in Taipei also previously said the two sides are expected to convene a joint economic committee in "the last quarter of this year" to discuss ways to expand bilateral trade and investment and study the feasibility of singing an economic cooperation agreement (ECA).

A diplomatic source who prefers to remain anonymous told the Apple Daily that Lin has plenty of experience in dealing with East Asian and Pacific affairs and matters with the Philippines.

His expertise makes him a perfect choice for the top envoy post in Manila and the appointment will benefit the nation's ongoing efforts to sign an ECA with the Philippines as part the government's ongoing effort to be included in regional economic blocs, the source said.

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