Former health minister among new ministers without portfolio named

Former health minister among new ministers without portfolio named
Former health minister among new ministers without portfolio named
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Taipei, May 10 (CNA) Former Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Deputy Trade Representative Yang Jen-ni (楊珍妮) were among the four newly appointed ministers without portfolio announced Friday by the incoming Cabinet.

Prime Minister-designate Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) made another round of personnel announcements through a Friday press release, announcing four new ministers without portfolio, the director of the National Palace Museum (NPM), and several vice ministers.

Chen, Yang, Minister of Culture Shih Che (史哲), and National Taiwan University College of Law professor Lin Ming-hsin (林明昕) were the newly appointed ministers without portfolio. The incumbent NPM Director Hsiao Tsung-huang (蕭宗煌) will remain in his role, according to the release.

Chen served as the minister of health from 2017 to 2022 and the head of the Central Epidemic Command Center during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was also deputy head of the Executive Yuan’s Department of Health from 2005 to 2008 before the department was upgraded to ministry status.

Chen was also the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate in the 2022 Taipei mayoral election, but lost to opposition Kuomintang rival Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安).

Yang has been the deputy trade representative since 2007 and the Taiwan Council for US Affairs chairperson since 2020.

She was the director-general of the Bureau of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (2014-2020), and also the first woman to head the bureau.

Shih is the incumbent head of the Ministry of Culture, which is to be headed by novelist Li Yuan (李遠) under the incoming Lai Ching-te (賴清德) government.

Shih was Kaohsiung City’s deputy mayor for five years under current mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and former mayor Chen Chu (陳菊). He was also the head of the city’s cultural affairs bureau, giving him a front-row seat during much of Kaohsiung’s recent development.

He was also the head of the Bureau of Labor Insurance under the Executive Yuan’s Council of Labor Affairs (upgraded to the Ministry of Labor in 2014) between 2004 and 2006.

An NTU law professor, Lin specializes in constitutional and administrative law, according to the school.

Yen Huai-shing (顏慧欣), senior deputy executive director of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research’s Taiwan WTO and RTA Center, will replace Yang as the next Taiwan Council for US Affairs chairperson.

Previously announced ministers without portfolio include Paul Liu (劉鏡清), who has also been named as the new head of the National Development Council, Wu Cheng-wen (吳誠文), the new head of the National Science and Technology Council, and Chen Chin- te (陳金德), the new head of the Public Construction Commission.

(By Lai Yu-chen, Wen Kuei-hsiang, and Alison Hsiao)

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