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Jiang leads Cabinet inauguration

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- New Premier Jiang Yi-huah yesterday pledged to push for government reform, after he was sworn in as head of the Cabinet amid ongoing challenges on all fronts following the departure of his predecessor Sean Chen.

Speaking at the Cabinet handover ceremony yesterday, Jiang first expressed gratitude for Chen's contributions to the country.

Jiang said that he was under extreme pressure because he has big shoes to fill following Chen's successful tenure.

The new premier also said that he will do his best to push for reform despite opposition, stressing that the right policies will ultimately be supported by all.

He also called on Cabinet members to be innovative and to make the best use of their work hours.

The handover ceremony was presided over by Vice President Wu Den-yih.

During his previous posts within the government, the most recent of which was as vice premier, Jiang demonstrated strong communication and coordination skills, the vice president said.

Chen said that it had been a pleasure working with Jiang, a professor turned politician who also served as interior minister in the past.

Chen also mentioned Jiang's efforts regarding pension reform.

Chen officially announced his resignation earlier this month, saying that he had made the decision due to his worsening health.

Before joining the ceremony, Jiang, Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), the new vice premier, and others took part in a swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Office held by President Ma Ying-jeou.

The swearing-in ceremony was held on the first day after the nine-day Chinese New Year break.

Cabinet Members Need to Sharpen Skills: Jiang

After attending the two ceremonies, Jiang immediately held his first Cabinet meeting.

During the meeting, the premier expressed his hope that cabinet members will sharpen their skills in planning, public communication and the executing of policies, according to Cabinet spokeswoman Cheng Li-wun.

The new Cabinet lineup includes Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁), Executive Yuan secretary-general; Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時), transportation minister; Chang Chia-juch (張家祝), economics minister; and Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development.

The new Cabinet will be facing a string of challenges, including the heated debate regarding the safety of nuclear power, as well as the dispute over reforming the pension system.

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Outgoing Premier Sean Chen, left, hands an official seal to new Premier Jiang Yi-huah, right, while Vice President Wu Den-yih presides over the ceremony held at the Executive Yuan, yesterday. (CNA)



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