Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen officially announced a cabinet reshuffle on January 27, with former Vice President Chen Chien-Jen taking over as the Premier. Analysts said that Chen Chien-Jen, who was born in academia and has a mild image, formed a cabinet, which may help unite Taiwanese society and resolve Taiwanese people’s aversion to vicious political parties. However, the new cabinet lacks practical experience in governing and has never dabbled in economic and cross-strait affairs. This will test the performance of Tsai Ing-Wen’s administration in the later period and may also affect the DPP’s 2024 presidential election.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen formally appointed Chen Chien-Jen, who served as vice president in her first term, to form a cabinet on January 27 to take over the position of Premier of the Executive Council following the resignation of former cabinet chief Su Zhensheng.
At the press conference, Tsai Ing-Wen first thanked Su Zhenchang for leading the administrative team over the past four years to fight against African swine fever and the new crown epidemic, and promoted reforms such as the Marriage Equality Act, opening up the import of American cattle and pigs, and the military service system, allowing Taiwan to enter the post-epidemic recovery. To live a normal life, maintain economic stability, and become a democratic partner supported by the international community.
Chen Chien Jen’s cabinet aims to strengthen Taiwan’s “resilience.”
Regarding the cabinet reshuffle, Tsai Ing-Wen said, “No matter how brilliant the script is, it must turn to the next chapter” to describe Chen Jairen’s succession. She said 2023 would be a challenging year and she expected the new cabinet team to be “warm and resilient”.
Tsai Ing-Wen has given the new cabinet four major tasks: 1. Phased consolidation of epidemic prevention measures, not only to restore life after the epidemic but also to move towards recovery. 2. Conduct a general review of the social care system in various fields, from childcare, housing rental, mortgage family, anti-drug, anti-fraud, etc., to take care of people’s lives in an all-around way. 3. Continue to improve infrastructure construction and strengthen the physique of small and medium-sized enterprises. 4. Promote six core strategic industries including digital, health and national defense strategy, and green energy to consolidate Taiwan’s role in the international supply chain.
Faced with Tsai Ing-Wen’s expectations, the new cabinet minister, Chen Jianren, said at the press conference that he deeply felt the pain that the people of Taiwan have endured in the past three years of fighting the epidemic, especially the plight of the economically disadvantaged. The administrative team of Taiwan will actively launch countermeasures, with the three major goals of “strengthening Taiwan’s economic resilience, environmental resilience, and social resilience.”
According to Taiwan’s Executive Yuan, Su Zhenchang will formally lead the cabinet to resign on January 30, and the old and new cabinets will be handed over on January 31.
“Cool officials” for “warm men” Scholars: help to restore people’s hearts.
Some analysts said that since the Democratic Progressive Party’s disastrous defeat in the nine-in-one general election at the end of last year, there have been calls for a cabinet reshuffle. Therefore, the Tsai Ing-Wen government had to launch new cabinet personnel to reverse public opinion. At that time, the Democratic Progressive Party held only 5 counties and cities in the 22 counties and cities in Taiwan and lost 14 seats held by the opposition KMT, which was the worst record since the party. The Kuomintang also won the majority of seats in the elections of 11 county and city councilors.
The new Ge Kui, Chen Jianren, was born in academia and is known as a “warm man” in Taiwan’s political arena. Compared with Su Zhenchang, who is known as a “cool official” for his strict style and often publicly reprimanding officials, the two are in stark contrast.