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December, 3, 2016

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2 top government officials step down

In the latest government reshuffle, the Presidential Office announced Wednesday that President Tsai Ing-wen had recently approved the resignation of the Presidential Office secretary-general and the National Security Bureau (NSB) director-general.

Tsai had approved the resignation of Presidential Office Secretary-General Lin Bih-jaw, effective Thursday, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang said.

Lin reportedly made his case to the president multiple times. Deputy Secretary-General Liu Chien-hsin will step in as acting chief under Tsai's instructions, Huang added.

Huang said Lin spoke of feeling honored when he received Tsai's invitation back in April and took up the position with the goal of maintaining a stable administration following government transition.

Lin said that, now that the government is operating smoothly, he had fulfilled his original intention and obligations.

Lin said he hoped the position could be left vacant for the president to consider personnel selection for the next stage of government affairs planning, the spokesman said.

"President Tsai expressed understanding of Lin's firm decision to step down, and his hopes of retiring to concentrate on writing," Huang said.

NSB Head Steps Down

NSB Director-General John Young will also step down, with ex-Air Force Commander-in-Chief Peng Sheng-chu tapped to serve as his successor, Huang said.

"Young has brought up his resignation to Tsai multiple times," he added, who believed that he had completed his responsibilities at the current stage.

Rumors that Young would step down have been rampant in the months since Tsai took office.

Young's resignation was finally approved recently. He was appointed by ex-President Ma Ying-jeou last year.

Tsai's appointment of Peng was largely made on his strong experience and background in intelligence gathering, Huang said.

The former Air Force commander-in-chief held positions closely tied to international intelligence exchange, analysis of war intelligence and security operations.

He would also be familiar with joint operations with the U.S., as he once served as a U.S.-stationed military official and military delegation leader, making him a well-qualified "military-diplomat," according to the Presidential Office's press statement.

"He meets the nation's current expectations with regards to national security," Huang said.

Peng will formally take up the position after the handover process is complete, which is likely to occur in the next one to two weeks, Huang told reporters.

The 66-year-old Peng was also the first Ministry of National Defense Military Intelligence Bureau director from an Air Force background.

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