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June 28, 2017

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President Ma defends reshuffling of Cabinet

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday likened the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle to basketball, saying "Not even Jeremy Lin (林書豪) necessarily plays through all four quarters in a given game."

Ma pointed out that during his five years in office there have been several Cabinet reshuffles.

The president used basketball as an analogy and said that player substitutions often take place over the course of a game.

The government needs to give talented people an opportunity to exercise their talents, and it also needs to promote people and make sure that everyone is in their most suitable positions, Ma said.

The president added, however, that the opportunity for a reshuffle has to arise first, otherwise new talents don't necessarily end up joining the Cabinet.

With regard to claims about the administration's lack of diversity, Ma said that Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) has solid experience in elections, and that ex-Mainland Affairs Council Minister Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛), Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源), and Minister without Portfolio Yang Chiu-siung (楊秋興) all have their unique qualities.

On the other hand, if the government only selected people based on their different qualities, it would be hard to assemble an integrated administrative team, Ma said.

With regard to claims that Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah's (江宜樺), who is set to become premier, lacks political experience, Ma explained that Jiang's first post was chief of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (研考會), and that the tenure helped Jiang view administrative policies from a comprehensive perspective. The president described Jiang as a prudent man and said that he has performed well as both interior minister and vice premier.

As to questions over Jiang's age, Ma said that there have been many examples of people younger than Jiang becoming heads of government, and that the question of age was entirely subjective

Jiang, 52, will become the youngest person to the lead the Cabinet in the Republic of China's history.

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