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May 30, 2017

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MAC principal deputy minister resigns for family reasons: Cabinet

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Principal Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) has resigned from his post and will be replaced by Lin Chu-chia (林祖嘉) — another MAC deputy minister — the Executive Yuan announced yesterday.

After taking over Chang's post at the MAC, Lin's previous position will be filled by Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Deputy Secretary-General Shih Hui-fen (施惠芬), the Cabinet said.

Chang, who doubles as SEF vice chairman and secretary-general, has been working in the MAC's second-highest post since September 2013. He is also expected to step down from his posts at the SEF, the organization responsible for the conduct of relations with Beijing in the absence of official ties.

The outgoing principal deputy minister was scheduled to lead an SEF delegation to Shaanxi province (陝西), Henan province (河南) and Anhui province (安徽) next Tuesday to visit Taiwanese businessmen, but Chang last week requested reporters to halt releasing news of the itinerary.

MAC Deputy Minister Wu Mei-hung (吳美紅) yesterday told reporters that Chang has asked to resign for family reasons. Wu said MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) attempted to persuade Chang to stay in his post, but Chang expressed his intention to take a break from work. Wang at the end reluctantly approved his resignation, Wu said.

A source who is familiar with cross-strait affairs said that the reason behind Chang's decision is his mother's health condition. The source said Chang has been "struggling" between work and family for a while, so he decided to resign.

Many have speculated that Chang's exit was due to a series of demonstrations against the meeting between Wang and his Chinese counterpart Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) at the end of June. The MAC responded by saying that such speculation was "over-thinking."

The SEF will likely convene a meeting of its board of directors and supervisors soon to decide Chang's successor, with some forecasting the spot to go to SEF Vice Chairman Ma Shaw-chang (馬紹章) or Lin, according to the United Evening News.

The Executive Yuan yesterday also announced that Lucia S. Lin (林思伶), president of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages (文藻外語大學), will be the new deputy minister of education.

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