Taiwan appoints new Premier amid rising China tensions


Su Tseng-chang, a political heavyweight and former Taiwan premier, has once again been appointed to lead the cabinet as political upheaval continues in the country in the wake of a series of stunning losses suffered by the ruling party in November elections.

Mr Su will takeover from William Lai, who offered to step down last year after the Democratic Progressive party lost seven of the 13 key mayoral and county magistrate positions it held going into the local elections amid rising dissatisfaction over local issues, including the economy.

This appointment marks a return to the premiership for Mr Su, 71, who served in the role under president Chen Shui-bian during a period of heightened tension between Taiwan and China from 2006 to 2007, before an unsuccessful run as a vice-presidential candidate in 2008.

Mr Su was a DPP founder and has on two occasions served as its chairman.

Executive branch reshuffles are a common thing in Taiwan after elections or major controversies and an announcement of other changes to the cabinet is expected next week. But Mr Lai’s exit has nonetheless raised questions about whether the Taiwan independence advocate and popular former Tainan city mayor and will challenge President Tsai Ing-wen (pictured) for the DPP presidential nomination ahead of the presidential and legislative elections in early 2020.


Su Tseng-chang . Image – AFP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *