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New Cabinet to be sworn in after Lunar New Year holidays

TAIPEI, Taiwan --The Cabinet to be headed by Premier-designate Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) will take office on Feb. 18, the first workday after the Chinese New Year holiday, according to a statement released by the Executive Yuan yesterday.

Outgoing Premier Sean Chen and some related officials will officially resign on Feb. 7, the statement said. The Cabinet reshuffle includes China Airlines Chairman Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) coming in to head the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Minister without Portfolio Kuan Chung-ming taking over the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD).

Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) Chairman Chi Schive (薛琦) will be appointed as a new minister without portfolio, according to the statement.

Jiang said that he will attempt to finalize the makeup of the new Cabinet before Chinese New Year, so that the reshuffle won't disturb officials' holidays.

The incoming premier called Chang highly experienced in academics, government and the private sector.

Although Chang's experience mainly comes from his time with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Jiang expressed confidence in Chang, saying that many Kuomintang (KMT) heavyweights have highly recommended him.

What is needed in forming the team, Jiang said, may not be a person who is the most professional in his expertise, but a versatile person who is capable of drafting concrete policies, has smooth communication skills and can execute plans efficiently.

Other KMT officials also backed Chang in his new role as economics minister.

Lawmaker Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) said that transportation is an essential part in enhancing economic growth, which means that Chang's experience in developing Taiwan's infrastructure will prove useful in helping the nation's economy.

Jiang said that Chang was hesitant to take the post because of his background working predominately in transportation.

After much discussion, Jiang said, Chang was willing to take up the challenge and serve the country.

As for Kuan, who will head up the CEPD, Jiang said that he understood entirely Kuan's qualifications for the job, as they have been acquaintances for a long time.

Kuan's economic background, Jiang said, makes him the most suitable person to lead in executing the nation's economic projects.

Kuan would often speak about his ideas to boost Taiwan's economy to Premier Chen, Jiang explained.

The boldness and straightforwardness Kuan has shown makes him right for this job, Jiang added.

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